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Full text of "The geology and mineral resources of the Reefton subdivision : Westport and North Westland divisions"

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To accompany Bulletin N? 18. 



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GOLDEN FLEECE 



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KEEP-IT-DARK 



WEALTH OF NATIONS 



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Ore Shoot ~^,;:-:{uflj!};ft/u 




INKERMAN WEST 



DRAKE 



CUMBERLAND 



MINE SECTIONS 



Camnded and drawn by G.EJLmis, 1 9 16 



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«^pS 



Btai.No/8 



i;;(.'JLOGY 





t I ./ V ©to •JAW 






B U B N E T T 



S^acLs shown Ouia _ 

TrycnomeCricaL StaUonM — „ n - C 

EdgcBcfBueh. ~ 



.-■vit^ 



Water Racta ip .. - — '^ — ■ — 

TramLinai t. - - " 

Walerftzlbi and Dame .. „_ _>'X* 

i MORGAN Shan^andDri^^ = ^ 

'*"'"^''*'" a~Esrs of judges undSaildles^ _„_ -— X- — 
OoM Whrkmgs ,.__,._ V 



GEOLOGICAL MAP OF 

LiMum iiwof ffinsmneij 

AKIP PMT OF BfflMiBA S.D. 



- Scale of Chain s - 



Tm m°m >4 



- Reference to Geolo fe ical Colours and S i^n; 



SEDIMENTARY BOCKS 



.,. l~ I 



LOWER PLIOOCNE 



lid conglommle, ■.-.d.lrns, and d»,.lon.. «llh bra-n] 



PUI8TO0ENE. . rimiitll*. ilitia 






I I 



KUl-^!. 


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\A 






I 





•llh no obumd itHlie tnij dip.. -•- 

,>wta.- 'i'-^ 






To trccompany SidletiivlNS JS.Reeftorc Suhdivistor^ , Westport a.ncl7fm-tJoTf^stZaj^dDivisix>7is,J!Klson, and, WestLrnid LaixdyDisti-icts. 




13 



PLAN 

Showing Claims and Workings 

m the 

ilk JM^ m W=^ il Ji^Jm 
GROUP OF MINES 
BLOCK Xlll.WAITAHU S.D. 

Scale 



Blackwater 
South 



^e^ 



DEPARTMENT 

OF 
GEOLOGY 



ToajccoTnpmyySuUeU>v]f^l8.ReeftonSuhdiyiaUn,Westpot-tanAW(irat,Vleatl€iruIIH,rijiu>rmJX!l^rt,m " f f^HlNIVf !-^ |Q 




To <ijxurtipm,yBunfHn,li^l8,'ReenoiLSuMiviMmi.JVesljmrtt<naW,rthy«-stktiidmraw<iiiMelsoTva,idWefthii^ 




£: 



\ 



. Success I Exchange*, 



V 



Golden Lesd 



,^i ^ 



^0 



UMBERLAND-s 



P.G.MORGAN. 



OK, 



® Trig- A 

Kapai 



Merrijigs 



lt& 



^t 



I'J 



\ PLAN 

"^\ Showing Claims and Workings 

'~~ in the 

MIlPTiawf If (0,(0 

GROUP OP MINES 
BLOCKS lUVI WAITAHU S.D. 

Scale 



To ariompany SuiZetin.2i9 /S.R^eftoJi Sttbd'visiori.JVeslpoi'i r.,,J 'KhrdK. r)i-st7(,?idnn'tsLfnis .Mlaoro ajidyVestlatif!.ZaticLDistricfs. 



OEPflFIMENT 

OF 



PLAN 

Showing Claims and Workings 

OAS AND cfiuSIIINGTO: 

GROUPS OP MINES 




Cbrnfjdtd ami drrvitn.by C E Hnr 



To ciccoTnpaTijyMu lie fx7vIf9/8. Reef ton Suhdiviston. Tfeatport aj^TforUvT^stCcmdDivistnriaJ^^Taon, and. Wcstlufid- LarulDistricto. 





. ahorm itaia -—'^ 
Triycncmetrlcal SUUiont „ „-C@iei'' 

Waterfhlla and Dama ., _ - ,. ^X!^ 



SURVEY DISTRICTS 

Sctiio of Chain s 



SEDtMENTARY ROCKS 



- Reference to Geolo ft ical Colours and Si ftna — 



Compiltd fyom data obtmntd/Tt!rn.cAi].atid3 and Sur^rcyDfpartmcnl. 

oFOu Gtalogieal SurvByHronA ofihe Mines Departmeit 
Geology iy J HEiidcrean. and T K BnadgaU 



■■ I I 



.c=]J 



IGNEOUS ROCKS 



A\ 






;;. ar_rv„ii„„ir KiiJl,-l„i jyPW R,tIIu„ &uhciirMm,..Wcalpm1 ami Xi.rlh W,<tl„„,l II,v,,w:is.Nrlmn ,„id TValhimJ Ln,„IJ}l, 




GEOLOGICAL MAP OF / " '^Y* p , . „ ^^ 



Trigonometrical SUUiorxB- 
m ^rf^ea cfBush 



liaftt and Drives 

MJ. W.rki^iiif. 



:;r:gi: mMiEmQTQ %Wmm DQSMQCT 



.._ _>-^ 



T M y^ ^ h4~ 



SEDIMENTARY ROCKS 



- RoFeronce to GBob fe ical Colours and Si ^ni 



and Sti"i additional turveys in J.Hcndencn ondFFtdtmiWl 
of l\c Gtato^\cal Sunay Branch of Ou Mixta DtparOrunt 
Geology iy J Henderson, 



.„c 



..11:11 



nna 



-"""■■1 1 






|;!:"S!i;*'!:)!|| 



IGNEOUS ROCKS 






■ Reference to Geolo g ical Colours and Si fens 
SEDIMENTARY ROCKS 



Fluvlatlle gravels due lo 
the rtijuvenntion Initiated 
by the uplift that paused 
RECENT <^ on the strand.llne at 



(Corresponding mnri 
gravels shown similarly. 



LOWER PLIOCENEj /•a/'ffora Stries. 

AND i 

UPPER MIOCENE [Marine sandstone and claystone, often coicareoui 



{Uawheranu/ Series, 
Conglomerate, gnt, sandstone, and shale with coal 
Breccia and breccia-conglomerate. 



SILURIAN AND 

OLDER I Greywacke, argillite, hornfele, and schist. 



POST-DEVONIAN 




Reads shown. thLLS 

Tracks „ - - „- ---'"'"■ 

Tri^orwinetT-ical StcUicns „ « - C ©lOi' 

Edaee of Bush 

S<yi^ ,',--„- '^^%* 

Water Races 
RaOways _ _ 
Trajn,L\ 

Waterfalls and Dams „ „_ ~y^ 

Shafts and Drives ,, „ — n . — 

Crests of Rif/ges oru7 Saddles „ _ --3C ' 

Gold Workings ,» ,»- 'V 



GEOLOGICAL MAP OF 



Smle of Chains 






Compiled frvm data obtained from the Lands OTid Survey Department , {^^ f*^ f\ f r\> Vi [\^'t^ {"r^ ^ W \ F^VSH R [ Xl ^ ''A [V 

and ^vm additional surveys by J^endersort.JABco^rvTTiMSmite'horrv. WJl^J \\ i\ \'A\ \\ [ I ! 1 liN 1 /"A PXd F5KC\ Pi^'ll 1 I IM I / A\ I > 

andFRCUtxm-Woodofthe Geological Survey Branch of the Mines Department. m!^I|\\ 

Geology iy J Henderson ana. J A3cLriruyn/. Wi^-^Li ^ 



SORYEY DIISTEICTS 



ao *o 



I ^ ^ ^ ^-1' 






To aj^CGTnpajty BuUeUThJ^ l8.ReeftorhSuhdt%dsto7i.,Wesiport andMi^thTlestla^ 





INANGAirUA 



P G.MORGAN 
DIRECTOR 



Cornpiled from data obtained from. theLands and Survey Department, 
and fhom additional surveys byJIferLdersan..ESWIiite7torfi.^FFuZionWood- 
of the Geological Survey Branch ofche Mines Department. 
Qeology by ifHc-ndeisorh 



GEOLOGICAL MAP OF 



\/>^ 



wMm 



40 O 

l-H I 1 I— I 



- Scale of Chain s 



7 



H 



K A 



', 



•''-, 



' ReFerence to Geolo g ical Colours and Si gns - 
SEDIMENTARY ROCKS 



Fluvlatlle gravels due to 
the rejuvenallon initiated | 
by tlie uplift that paused I 
on the strand-line at 



PLEISTOCENE Fluvlatlle and glacial gravels 

Dellelo conglomerate, sandstone, and elaystone, 
with brown coal-seams and lifinillc banda. 



i^ in // { 

'"'■ y^'^iiL^ Mt.Uriah Z- j 



Bird- Ctry 



/ 



XamT 



UPPER MIOCENE 



I Marine sandstone and claystone, often calcareous... 



IGNEOUS ROCKS 



v~^-. 



\ 



/' 



\>, 



v/ /An 



I Basic dykes 
POST-OEVONIAN ] Acidlo dykei 



Quartz lodes. _ None 

Outcrops with observed strike and dip ^ =*= 

Outcrops with no observed strike and dip, ^ + 

Outcrops of gneiss 

Outcrops of coal, 

Faults _ 




.t- 



H,^ 









Vj 



Z'^^. / 





.. i,. 






\ .- 



\r>-^ 



^ThePinnacle ^^i;\l.s 



W\ 



-r^ 



Reference 

iioixds shcvtrt thiXB 

TrcLckB 

JYigon^metricat Stations^- 

Edges of Bush 

Syfojnp 

Water Races 

Railways 

Tram, Lines 

Waterfalls and Dams 

Shafts ajid Drives _ 

Gests ofJUdjgcs an.fl Saddles 

GohL Workijtc^s „_ _ 



C ©iBii' 





'Vi '^' V, ^ ^ \, 






< ! f 





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J / / r / L 






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.XI 








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W A./l W H U 

Campiltd and dravm.lyG.EMirria 1916 /"' 




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,-^< 

.--• ^ 



lv1tM«Har-il>. f--. 1 




'^ 



■1 ' ii\\^ 



V \x 










#'^ ' 



A^ ^'^: 




\ 



i^'Z 



i \ 





( ... 




Trigonometrical Staiions- 

EdgesofBush 

Swamp 

Water Races 

lUulways 

Tram. Lints 

WateHhUa and Dams 

Shafla and Drives 

Gv.Hto orRidf/va euulSaddles, 
Gold Workings 



_ C ©/&?/■ 



mmw^ %Mmm %mmti 



_ _ ., ,^-<s 



SEDIMENTARY ROCKS 



I : 63360 

— Reference to Geolo fe ical ColourB and Si ^n; 



CompiJUd. ^Tom dato obtcuritd frcm Ch^landa and Survey Deparement, 
and frxjm additional surveys by JHend^s(mJ{SWhiie}wm, ^FFulfm,Wood,. 
of the Geological Sxtrvey Brofich of the Mines Department 
Geology ty iXMendersari'. 



Fluvlilllc grivslt due to 
flEOEHT J"'' f^J""'"'"*" inlliiiled 



PLE13T00ENE. flutlallle and elnclal erav«l» 



,1 n 



LOWEn PLIOCENE 
UPPER MIOCENE 



OeUflle conglom«fate, tendilone, end clejtione, i 

Mnrlne sandslonB and clajitone, often calcnreoua. 



c and caleartou) grit, landstans, and clayttone. 

andilona and clayftonc and llltaral eonglomeratei 



Uawtaranul Strles. 



] ] 



I Ri'flon Sefiet 
DEV0I4IAII --{ 

lQuarli>l«, greiwiicXf, arglllile, and II 



-' lo..,...., 



rgltllle, hotrtfel), and whist. 



IGNEOUS ROCKS 



5«.*w , \/ 

OutC'opa with obMPved tirike and dip " f-c 

Outerops *llh no obunfd alfHe and dip.. -i- 

Outcrops of gnolM -- « 

Oulcpops of bweela ■^ "» 

Oukpopi of cobI - 

Fault) - -- — -T" 

Campdalcnidra.wnhyG.ZHamj.IOI6 



To ox.cor,ij>cmy BvUeUrtl^ m/Reeft07i SLihdivisijDrtJVestpori ana,l^orth.y^stla^^ 



— Reference to Geolo fe ical Colours and Sj fens — 
SEDIMENTARY ROCKS 



LOWER PLIOCENE J Dellalc conelomerEte, aan'dstono, and olHyBton 

AND \ coat-seams and llgnltio bands. 

UPPER MIOCENE 

[ Marine sandstone and olajstone, often calcareous.. 



f Mawheranai Series. 

EOCENE J Conglomerate, grit, sandstone, and shale with 

I Breccia and breccia-conglomerate, and Paparoa Beds.. 

{Aorere Siriis. 
Greywackp, argillile. 




Roads shown. (JuAS = 

Tracks „ ,j- x==='"''=-" 

TrigcnCTTxetrlcal StaUone — „ « - C @ie^i' 

Ed^esofBush „ _ .- „ _ r^^»-'^>^ 

Swamp „ „- -11^%-* 

Water Racea- 

RaH-wajyB 

Train. Lines _ . 

Watertizlts and Dams „ . r^^''^ 

Shafts and Drives .. .. — D >-^ 

G-esisofHidgesarfd Saddles,, „_ — :>C--- 



P.G.MORGAN. 



C O S D E N 

vied. from, data ohtoined from theLands and Survey Department _ 
and from additional surveys by'PGMorgcot.JJbnders07i,MSV^ttehorn- 
andF.Fulton-W>od of the Geological Survey Branch of the Mines Department. 
Geology iy PGMorgan.JSertderBon and. fi'i Gibson,. 



SURVEY DISTRICTS 



Compiled and drawn by G KHhnia. 1916. 




F rout ispiK'i 



Plate I. — IJkkftox. showing the Inangahua Riveb and Papaboa Range 



yl'ltdtij hji W . Sill ilork. 




NEW ZEALAND. 







ra of ^Ttnes. 




/A<3Lp 



NEW ZEALAND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. 

(P. G. MORGAN, Director.) Ol 



BULLETIN No. 18 (NEW Series). 






THE GEOLOGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES 



OF THE 



REEFTON SUBDIVISION. 



WESTPORT AND NORTH WESTLANI) DIVISIONS. 



J. HENDERSOIN^, 



ISSUED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OP THE HON. W. D. S MaoDONALD, MINISTER OF MINES. 




WELLINGTON. 

BY AUTHOKITY : MARCUS F. MARKS, GOVKRNMKNT PRINTER. 

1917 



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL. 



Geological Sukvey Office, 

Wellington, 12tli December, 1916. 
Sir, — 

I have the honour to submit herewith Bulletin No. 18 (New 
Series) of the Geological Survey Branch of the Mines Department, 
written by Dr. J. Henderson, Mining Geologist. It comprises 225 pages 
of letterpress, together with a large number of maps, plans, and plates. 

This Bulletin deals with the general and economic geology of the 
Eeefton Subdivision, which has an area of 1,046 square miles, and is thus 
the largest district hitherto included in any detailed geological report 
written in New Zealand. The subdivision contains important mineral 
resources in the shape of gold — alluvial and vein — and of coal. Although 
the alluvial gold is apparently nearly exhausted, the gold-quartz veins 
are expected to give profitable yields for many years to come, and the 
coal-bearing areas are hardly touched. 

A continuous block of country on the west coast of the South Island 
extending from the Big Wanganui River in South Westland to the 
neighbourhood of Karamea in West Nelson, and having an area of 
approximately 3,540 square miles, has now been geologically surveyed in 
detail. The results obtained are embodied in five other bulletins besides 
the present — namely, those dealing with the Hokitika, Mikonui, Mount 
Radiant, Greymouth, and Buller-Mohikinui subdivisions. There still 
remains, however, a large area of mountainous country in north-west 
Nelson of which a geological survey at an early date is desirable. 

I have the honour to be. 
Sir, 
Your obedient servant, 



The Hon. W. D. S. MacDonald, 

Minister of Mines, Wellington. 



P. G. MORGAN, 

Director. N.Z. Geological Survoy. 



CONTENTS. 



Letter of Tbansmittal 



Chaptke I. — General Information. 




Introduction 

Field-work and Acknowledgments . 

Climate 

Flora . . 



1 

2 
2 

'.'. 4 

Chapter II, 
Page 
14 



Population 

Means of Communication . . . . 15 

Water-races and Dams . . . . . . 16 

Industries . . . . • . . . 17 

Introduction . . . . - . . . 17 

General and Historical Account of the 

Mining Industry . . . . • ■ 17 

The Mining of Detrital Gold . . . . 17 

Lode-mining . . . . • ■ 20 

Mining and Treatment Methods . . 23 

Chapter III.- 
Page 



General Features 
Mountains 
Plateaux and Hills 
Rivers. . 

Coastal System 

The BuUer System 

The Grey System 
The Lowlands . . 
The Coast 

Tarns, Lagoons, Swarnps, Sinkholes, &c. 
Springs 
Caves . . 



36 
35 
36 
37 
37 
38 
40 
41 
42 
43 
44 
45 



Fauna 

Early History . . 

Previous Geological Observers 

Bibliography 

-Culture. 

Industries — continued. 

General and Historical Account — continued. 
Lode-mining — continued. 
Labour Conditions 
Mining and Treatment Costs 
Financial and other Conditions 
Coal-mining 

Methods of working 
Timber Industry 
Other Primary Industries 

Physiography. 

Correlation of the Wave-formed Terraces of 
the Sea-front witli the River-formed Ter- 
races of the Inland Depressions 

Rejuvenation Effects connected witli the 
Present Standstill 

Rejuvenation Effects connected with the 
Standstill at the 80 ft. Strand-line 

Rejuvenation Effects connected with the 
Standstill at the 200 ft. Strand-line 

Rejuvenation Effects connected with the 
Standstill at the 500 ft. Strand-line 

Conclusion 
Alterations in Drainage . . 



Chapter IV. — Faulting, Lodb-courses, and Structure. 



Introduction 

Age and Nature of the Faults 

Pre-Tertiary Fault-zones . . 
Introduction . . 
Reefton Fault-zones 
Paparoa Fault-zones 

Tertiary Faults 



Page 
55 
65 
56 
56 
57 
58 
59 



Structure 

Victoria Horst 

Paparoa Horst . . 

Inangahua-Grey Graben 

Reefton Plateau 

Orikaka Plateau 

Brighton Plateau 
Scenery in Relation to Structural Features 



Chapter V. — General Geology. 



Page 

Outline of Geology . . . . . . 68 

Aorere Series . . . . . . . . 69 

Distribution . . . . . . . . 69 

Structure . . . . . . . . 69 

Stratigraphical Succession and Conditions 

of Deposition . . . . . . 70 

Petrology . . . . . . . . 70 

Age and Correlation . . . . . . 71 

Devonian Series . . . . . . 73 

Distribution and Structure . . . . 73 

Stratigraphical Succession and Conditions 

of Deposition . . . . . . 73 

The Relationship of the Devonian and 

Aorere Rocks . . . . . . 74 

Age and Correlation . . . . . . 78 

Palaeontology . . . . . . 79 

Mawheranui Series . . . . . . 79 

Distribution and Structure . . . . 80 

Age and Correlation . . . . . . 81 

Stratigraphical Succession and Conditions 

of Deposition . . . . . . 81 

Greymouth (or Miocene) Series . . . . 83 

Distribution . . . . . . . . 83 

Structure . . . . . . . . 85 

Stratigraphical Succession and Conditions 

of Deposition . . . . . . 86 

Relationsliip of tlie Cobden Limestone and 

» Overlying Beds . . . . . . 89 



Greymouth (or Miocene) Series — contintted. 
Age and Con-elation 
Palaeontology 
Pleistocene and Recent Deposits . . 
Pleistocene Deposits 

Distribution 

Nature of the Gravels and Conditions 
of Deposition 

Age and Correlation 
Recent Deposits 

Marine Beds 

Fluviatilc Gravels 

Glacial and Fluvio-glacial Deposits 

Sand-dunes 

Talus 
Igneous Rocks . . 
Distribution . . 
Petrology and Composition 

Plutonic Rocics and Acid Dykes 

Feldspar- porphyrito . . 

Lamprophyres 

Camptonites and Basalts 

Hornblende Rock 

Diabases 

Hornblende-granulite 
Analyses 
Periods and Directions of Earth-movements . . 



28 
29 
31 
31 
32 
32 
33 



46 
46 

47 

48 

49 
49 
61 



61 
62 
62 
63 
64 
64 
64 
65 



92 
92 
94 
95 
95 

96 
98 
99 
99 
100 
101 
101 
101 
101 
101 
106 
106 
106 
107 
107 
108 
108 
109 
109 
HI 



VI 



Chapter VI. — Economic Geology. 



etalliferous Lodes 


114 


Introduotion . . 


114 


Definitions of Mining Terms, &c. 


114 


Lode-fissures 


115 


Nature of the Fissure-filling 


117 


Distribution of the Ore and Minerals in 




Depth 


118 


Alteration of the Wall-rocks 


120 


Genesis of the Quartz Lodes 


121 


Persistence of Ore in Depth 


123 


Rock- temperatures 


129 


Caledonian Group 


130 


History 


130 


Workings . . 


131 


Italian Gully Group 


132 


History 


132 


Workings . . 


132 


Kirwan Group 


133 


History 


133 


Workings . . 


134 


Capleston Group 


13.5 


History 


1.35 


Workings 


138 


Welcome United and Hopeful Mines . 


138 


Fiery Cross Mine . . 


140 


Just-in-Time Mine 


141 


Lone Star Mine . . 


141 


Specimen HiD Mine 


142 


Pactolus Mine 


142 


Painkiller Group 


143 


History 


143 


Workings . . 


143 


Russell-Dillon Mine 


143 


Ulster Mine 


144 


Ajax Group . . 


144 


History 


144 


Workings . . 


145 


Inglewood-Phoenix-Victoria Mine 


145 


Golden Treasure - Band of Hope Min 


3 147 


Perseverance Mine 


148 


Golden Fleece - Ajax - Royal Mine 


148 


Venus Mine 


150 


Andeison's-InvinciMe Mine 


151 


Crushington Group 


152 


History 


152 


Workings . . 


152 


Energetic - Wealth of Nations Mine . 


152 


Keep-it-Dark Mine 


153 


Hercules - No. 2 South Kcep-it-Dari 




Mine . . 


155 


Globe -Progress Group . . 


156 


History 


156 


Workings . . 


158 


Maori Gully Group 


160 


Merrijigs Group 


161 


History 


161 


Workings . . 


163 


Rainy Creek and Sujireme Mines 


163 


Inkerman Mine 


163 


Inkerman West Mine 


164 


Inkerman South Claim 


164 


Scotia Mine 


166 


Hard-to-Find Mine 


166 


Gallant Mine 


166 


Sir Francis Drake and Happy VaUej 




Mines . . 


166 


Cumberland-Exchange Mine 


167 


Golden Lead Group 


168 


History 


168 


Workings . . 


169 


Big River Group 


169 


History 


169 


Workings . . 


171 


Big River Mine 


171 


Other Claims 


171 


Blackwater Group 


171 


History 


171 


Workings . . 


. 172 



Metalliferous Lodes- continued. 
Blackwater Grouji—cohtinued. 
Workings — continued. 
Blackwater Mine . . 
Blackwater South Claim 
Prohibition or Blackwater North Claim 
Other Claims on or near Martin's 

Lode-series 
Millerton Mine 
Paparoa Group 

Future Prospects of Lode-mining 
Alluvial Deposits 

Early Tertiary Conglomerates . . 
Middle Tertiary Conglomerates . . 
Late Tertiary Conglomerates 
Pleistocene Deposits 

Three-channel Flat Group 
Inangahua Junction Group . . 
Landing Creek Group 
Cronadun Group 
Soldiers Group 
Squaretown Group . . 
Ikamatua Gx'oup 
Upland Group 
Granville Group 
Moonlight Group 
Blackball Group 
Recent Auriferous Dej)osits not clearly 
derived from older AUuvium 
Fluviatile Gravels 
Marine Gravels 
The Source of the Alluvial Gold 
Gold-dredging 

Historical Account . . 

Middle BuUer Valley Group 
Boatman Creek Group 
Mawheraiti Group 
Grey Valley Group 
Conclusion 
Coal-deposits 

Origin of Coal-seams . . 
Distribution of the Coal-deposits 
Composition of the Coal 

Nature of the Original Substance 

Age of the Coal-seams in Relation to 

their Composition 
Heat of Distillation . . 
Physical Pressure 
Facilities for the Escajje of the Gaseous 
Products . . . . _ 

Detailed Description of the Coal-seams 
Greymouth Groujj . . 
Porarari Group 
Fox River Group 
BuUer Gorge Group 
Three-channel Flat Group 
Fletcher Creek Group 
Reefton Group 
Plateau Group 
Waiwhero Group 
Garden GuUy Group 
Brighton Group 
Giles Creek Group . . 
Camp Creek Group . . 
Ultimate Analyses 
OutjDut of Coal 
Other Deposits of Economic Value 
Clays and Claystones . . 
Alum Shale . . 
Limestone 
Building-stones 
Roadmakiug-material . . 
Oil-shale and Petroleum 
Platinum 

Arsenic and Antimony 
Other Metallic Sulphides 
Cassiterite, &c. 
Iron-ores 



Page 



172 
173 
173 

173 
173 
174 
176 
177 
178 
178 
180 
180 
180 
181 
181 
182 
183 
183 
183 
184 
184 
185 
186 

186 
186 
187 
189 
191 
191 
191 
193 
193 
194 
195 
197 
197 
200 
201 
201 

202 
202 

202 

203 
203 
204 
204 
204 
205 
207 
208 
209 
213 
215 
215 
216 
217 
217 
218 
218 
219 
219 
221 
221 
222 
223 
223 
223 
223 
224 
224 
225 



Mokihinui Subdivisions 



Vll 



Tables. 

Mean Monthly Rainfall, in Inches 

Early Crushing Plants : Number of Stamps, Power, and Date of Starting 

Annual Returns from the Quartz Lodes of the Reefton Subdivision 

Results of Treatment of Ore : Percentage of Extraction, &.c. 

Development-costs 

Mining-costs 

Treatment-costs 

Total Working-costs per Ton 

Table showing Width between Outcrops and Elevation of Main Drainage-channel along 

Inangahua Trougli 
Physiographic Features of Streams in the Grey Basin 
Analyses of Rocks of the Aorere Series 
Analyses of Rocks from Wellington 
Thicknesses of Mawheranui Sedimentaries in Greymouth, Reefton, and Buller 

compared 
MoUuscan Fossils 

Analyses of Igneous Rocks of the Reefton Subdivision 
Classification of the Auriferous Lodes of the Reefton Area 
Analyses of Unaltered and Altered Country Rock, Reefton Subdivision 
West Coast Ore-deposition Zones 

Yields per Ton from various Lodes during Different Periods 
Rock-temperatures in Reefton Mines 

Yields from the Caledonian, Italian Gully, Kirwan, and Painkiller Groups of Mines 
Yields from the Capleston Group of Mines 
Yields from the Ajax Group of Mines 

Yields from the Crushington and Globe-Progress Groups of Mines 
Yields from the Merrijigs and Golden Lead Groups of Mines 

Yields from the Big River, Maori GuUy, Blackwater, and Paparoa Groups of Mines 
Comparison of Analyses of Ash of Wood, Peat, Lignite, Coal, and Coke 
Analyses of West Coast Coals to show Effect of Age on Composition 
Analyses of Coals from the Fox River Group . . 
Analyses of Coals from the BuUer Gorge Group 
Analyses of Coals from the Three-channel Flat Grouj) . . 
Analyses of Coals from the Fletcher Greek Group 
Analyses of Coals from the Reefton Group 
Analyses of Coals from the Plateau Group 
Analyses of Coals from the Garden GuUy Group . . 

Analyses of Coals from the Brighton Group 
Analyses of Coals from the Giles Creek Group 
Analyses of Coals from the Camp Creek Group 

Ultimate Analyses of Coals of the Oamaru Series from the Reefton Subdivision 
Production of Coal-mines of the Reefton Subdivision 
Analyses of Fireclays 
Analyses of Alum Shale 
Analyses of Limestones 
Analyses of Iron-ore . . . . . . 




80 
93 
109, 110 

no 

120 
123 
125 
130 
133 
142 
149 
157 
165 
174 
200 
202 
204 
206 
208 
209 
212 
214 
216 
217 
217 
218 
218 
219 
220 
221 
222 
225 



Index 



226 



PLATES. 



I. View of Reefton, showing the Inangahua River and Paparoa Range. (Frontispiece.) ' Pacing page 
II. View of old Winding-wheel of the Wealth of Nations Mine, sliowing Icicles, &c. . . . . 3 

III. Gorge between Black's Point (foreground) and Reefton (middle distance), incised 600 ft. to 

800 ft. below the General Level of Reefton Plateau . . . . . . . . 36 

IV. View of Reefton, looking down the Inangahua Valley, showing Terraces 200 ft. and 600 ft 

above the Stream-level, and, on the right, the Gradation of the Higher Terrace into tlie 
Reefton Hills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 

V. 1. View of Junction of the Big Grey and Mawheraiti Rivers, showing Terraces and the 

Even Sky-line of the Paparoa Range . . . . . . . . . . .„ 

2. Junction of the Buller and Inangahua Rivers, with Boundary Peak in the distance and 
part of the Orikaka Hills on the left 
VL 1. Crest of Mount Albert (5,069 ft.) in November .. .. .. .. \ 

2. Victoria Range eastward from Mount Albert . . . . . . . . ' 

3. Paparoa Range in Winter, the hills between the Mawheraiti and Inangahua Rivers arc [- 05 

in the middle distance and the Inangahua Flood-plain in the foreground . . 

4. A Mountain Stream (Giles Creek) . . . . . . . . . . I 

VII. Intermontane Valley of the Inangahua River . . . . . . . . . . 67 

VIII. View of Wealth of Nations old Plant, showing Battery Overshot Wheel (60 ft. diam.) on 

the left and Winding- wheel (.30 ft. diam.) on the right .. .. .. .. 152 

IX. View of Progress Mill, showing Roasting and lleverberatory Furnaces and Cyanide Plant . . 156 
X. Blackwater Mine. Treatment Plant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172 

IX. Outcrop of Coal-seam, Giles Creek. Coal forms the whole solid Outcrop .. .. 217 



Vlll 



MAPS AND PLANS. 



Map of New Zealand, showing Divisions . . 
Map of Westport and part of North Westland Divisions, showing Survey Districts and Area sur- 
veyed 
Plan of No. 7 Level, Wealth of Nations Mine 
Plans of Caledonian, Gladstone, Ulster, and St. George Mines 
Plan of Claims and Workings, Kirwan Group of Mines 
Plan of Claims and Workings, Progress Mines 
Plan of Claims and Workings, Big River Group of Mines 
Plans of Upper Moonlight area and Croesus and Garden Gully Mines. . 

(In Portfolio.) 
Geological Map of Inangahua and part of Maruia Survey Districts. 
Geological Map of Brighton Survey District. 
Geological Map of Maimai Survey District. 
Geological Map of Reefton Survey District. 
Geological Map of Waiwhero and Temiko Survey Districts. 
Geological Map of Mawheraiti Survey District. 

Geological Map of Waitahu and part of Pohaturoha Survey Districts. 
Geological Sections. 

Map of Reefton Subdivision, showing Fault-lines. 
Plan of Claims and Workings, Boatman's Group of Mines. 
Plan of Claims and Workings, Ajax and Crushington Groups of Mines 
Plan of Claims and Workings, Merrijigs Group of Mines. 
Plan of Claims and Workings, Blackwater Group of Mines. 
Mine Sections. 



Facing page 
viii 

viii 
113 
132 
134 
160 
171 
176 



No. 


1. 


No. 


2. 


No. 


3. 


No. 


4. 


No. 


5. 


No. 


6. 


No. 


7. 


No. 


8. 


No. 


9. 


No. 


10. 


No. 


11. 


No. 


12. 


No. 


13. 


No. 


14. 



ADDENDA. 



Page 93. For Lapparia corrugata Hutt. substitute Gymbiola corrugata (Hutt.). 

Panope, according to Mr. Suter, has priority over Panopea. 

Pecten huttoni (Park) occurs on coast south of Seal Island, in calcareous sandstone. 
Page 94. The coral Balanophyllia alta T. -Woods occurs at Inangahua Junction (Christie's = Loc. No .50) 



ERRATA. 



Page 112. On Plan of No. 7 L^vel, Wealth of Nations Mine, " Scale of Chains " should be " Scale of Feet ' 
In Portfolio. Plan No. 10, "Boatman's Group of Mines," should be "Capleston Group of Mines." 
Pacing page 171. On Plan of Big River Group of Mines, Survey Block Nos. II, III, VI, ^ni, should be 
respectively VI, VII, X, XI. 




8000.*.09.9ia, 



By Authority : John Machay, GovemmcHt Printer. 



KARAMEA D/Vy 



PUNAKAIKI 



TEM1K0> 



(irf.y K 







WESTPORT DIVISION 

AND PART OF NORTH WESTLAND DIVISION 

(nelson and WESTLAND LAND DISTRICTS) 

SHOWING SURVEY DISTRICTS 

„ „ „ 1 . _ „.pr(iv'ioy/s hnlletiriyS .,. ., L 



10 

I I I I I 



ENGLISH MILES 
10 



30 



S£^^. 



BULLETIN No. 18 (NEW SERIES). 




THE CtEOLOGY and MINERAL RESOURCES 



OP THE 



REEFTON SUBDIVISION. 

WESTPOET AND NORTH WESTLAND DIVISIONS. 



CHAPTEE I. 



GENERAL INFORMATION. 



Introduction. . . . . . . . . 1 

Field-work and Acknowledgments . . 2 

Climate . . . . . . . . 2 

Flora . . . . . . . . 4 



Page. Page. 

Fauna . . . . . . . . 4 

Early History . . . . . . . . 5 

Previous Geological Observers . . . . 6 

Bibliography . . . . . . . . 7 



INTRODUCTION. 
The area described in the present bulletin includes the survey districts of Inangahua, 
Brighton, Pimakaiki, Maimai, Reefton, Temiko, Waiwhero, Mawheraiti, Waitahu, and 
small portions of Maruia and Pohaturoa survey districts, in all an area of about 
1,046 square miles. It may be conveniently termed the Reefton Subdivision from 
the fact that Reefton, the largest town, is the centre not only of an important 
industrial district, but also of an interesting geological unit. The districts described 
in Bulletins Nos. 13 and 17 adjoin the Reefton Subdivision on the south and north 
respectively, and in many respects have a similar geological structure. Taken together, 
the three subdivisions form a large part of the region on the west coast of the 
South Island of New Zealand popularly known as " the West Coast." Save for the 
alpine meadows and a few pakihis on the lowlands, dense forest until a compara- 
tively short time ago covered the area under discussion, and even now only a small 
portion of it has been cleared and brought under cultivation. 

The mineral wealth of the area described is great, and at Reefton quartz-mining 
is in a flourishing state. The winning of coal and of alluvial gold is not of great 
importance ; but while the exploitation of the former is likely in the near future to 
attain large proportions, the production of the latter is likely still further to decrease. 

In the valley of the Mawheraiti several sawmilliag companies are actively engaged 
in cutting timber for export, but in the Inangahua basin most of the sawn timber is 
used by the mines, which also consume large quantities of rough lumber. 

1 — Beefton. 



Agricultural pursuits have never been extensively followed, owing in part to the 
unfavourable climate, and in part to the counter-attractions offered by mining. Within 
the last decade attention has been directed to the dairying industry, with satisfactory 
results to those interested. 

FIELD-WORK AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

The field-work upon which this bulletin is based commenced in October, 1912, 
and was concluded towards the end of May, 1914. During the whole time the writer 
was in the field he was assisted in the topographical work by Mr. F. Fulton-Wood, 
while Mr. H. S. Whitehorn similarly assisted in the 1913-14 season. Originally it had 
been intended to include the Inangahua Survey District in the Buller - Mokihinui 
Subdivision, and to this end a portion of this area was geologically examined by 
Mr. P. G. Morgan. To the same geologist is due the mapping of the boundary of the 
coal-measures in the southern poiiiion of the Waiwhero and Temiko survey districts, a 
work undertaken in connection with the Greymouth Subdivision. In the summer of 
1913 Mr. J. A. Bartrum, M.Sc, explored the headwaters of the Waitakere and Four- 
mile streams, in the Brighton Survey District. During the summer of 1914 the writer 
was assisted in geological work by Mr. F. K. Broadgate, M.Sc, and for a month 
towards the end of the season by Mr. W. Gibson, B.E. For the interpretation of the 
facts collected by these gentlemen, however, the writer is alone responsible. All 
analyses quoted in this bulletin, unless it be otherwise expressly stated, are the work 
of Dr. J. S. Maclaurin, Dominion Analyst, and his staff. 

During the progress of the field-work the writer has become indebted to many 
persons for courtesies which have facilitated his task. It is impossible to mention 
here by name all those to whom the thanks of the Geological Survey are due, but 
especial indebtedness must be acknowledged to Messrs. A. Winter Evans and E. Burley, 
of the Consolidated Goldfields, and to Messrs. T. Hubert Lee and W. Hindmarsh, 
legal managers of the Big Eiver and Keep-it-Dark companies respectively, for the 
use of many plans and records. The writer takes pleasure in here recording his 
appreciation of the facilities afforded him in his mine-examination by all the mine- 
managers of the Reefton district. Mr. George G. Wise, than whom no one knows 
more of the early days of the Reefton goldfield, kindly read the writer's notes on 
the history of the various mining properties, and whatever of merit these contain is 
largely due to his criticism and help. 

CLIMATE. 
The climate of the Reefton Subdivision is similar to that obtaining in the neigh- 
bouring districts described in Bulletins Nos. 1, 6, 13, and 17. These areas, however, 
differ from that described in this report in that they lie almost entirely open to the ocean, 
while the larger portion of the Reefton Subdivision is separated from it by the Paparoa 
Range, which exercises a sheltering effect, lessened, however, by its limited length 
and by a decrease in elevation both to the north and south. Thus the north-westerly 
rain-bearing winds cross the depression to the north of the range without losing a large 
proportion of their moisture-content, and then, deflected by the long unbroken barrier 
of the eastern mountains, sweep without interruption the whole length of the Inangahua- 
Grey valley. Nevertheless, it is certain that the Paparoas do modify the chmate and 
rainfall of this vaUey to some extent, especially in the southern portion of the subdivision. 
The following table, kindly supplied by the Dominion Meteorologist, shows the rainfall 
of most of the stations on the west coast of the South Island. Except Denniston, Reefton, 
and Otira, all are coastal stations, and show very instructively the progressive increase 
in the rainfall from the north southward. Denniston, though barely four miles from 



the coast, is situated at a height of 1,900 ft. above sea-level, whilst Otira lies in a 
valley in the heart of the Alps ; and, their records indicate the heavier and more 
frequent rain induced by the mountains. The position of Eeefton, on the other hand, 
would suggest an annual rainfall of 90 in., and the actual less amount recorded is 
probably due to the sheltering influence of the Paparoa Range. 

Mean Monthly Rainfall, in Inches. 





Jan. 


Feb. 


Mar. 


April. 


May. 


June. 


July. 


Aug. 


Sept. 


Oct. 


Nov. 


Dec. 


Total. 


3 o £ 
1 >^ 


Westport 


7-01 


4-42 


5-99 


6-47 


6-61 


7-47 


6-74 


6-09 


7-03 


6-67 


6-97 


6-89 


78-36 


23 


Grey mouth 




9-39 


6-00 


9-11 


8-54 


8-18 


8-68 


7-75 


7-26 


7-88 


1007 


9-05 


8-99 


100-90 


25 


Hokitika . . 














. . 














116-23 


34 


Okuru 




12-76 


9-58 


15-75 


13-78 


12-i7 


11-62 


10-48 


10-79 


12-54 


15-55 


11-52 


11-62 


148-16 


10 


Denniston 




7-07 


4-24 


606 


7-29 


8-22 


8-01 


6-84 


7-00 


7-05 


9-60 


9-88 


8-72 


89-98 


12 


Reefton . . 




6-28 


3-39 


5-64 


6-82 


6-63 


8-51 


6-17 


6-97 


8-39 


7-27 


7-99 


6-60 


80-66 


12 


Otira 




17-15 


9-59 


15-44 


19-71 


14-86 


15-78 


11-88 


1303 


20-21 


22-40 


17-84 


17-81 


195-70 


10 



The prevailing wind of the district is undoubtedly from the south-west ; and this 
wind, although usually accompanied by fine weather, sometimes brings showers, especially 
in winter and spring. Easterly winds are always dry, and the heavy rainfall is caused 
by great cyclones from the Tasman Sea impinging on the mountains. Earn usually 
sets in with a north-north-east wind, which rapidly veers to the north and north-west. 
The weather begins to clear when the wind reaches the west point, and then changes 
to showery and fine with a south-west wind. 

Proximity to the sea renders the temperature of the coastal districts more equable 
than that of the Grey-Inangahua valley. On the coast snow rarely falls, and never 
lies ; while frosts are of shoi-t duration, confined to the winter months, and of a mild 
nature. In the Grey - Inangahua valley, on the other hand, frosts have a wider 
range in time, and are much more severe, especially when the mountains are snow- 
covered, as much as 16° of frost having been recorded at Reefton. Nearly every 
winter several snowfalls occur in the valley lowlands, and in shady places the snow may 
lie for many days. 

Another frequent and most unwelcome visitant during the winter is a cold fog, 
which envelops the valley soon after simrise, and does not disperse till midday or later. 
Reefton, by reason of its position in the bottom of a bowl of hills open only to the 
north, is almost windless, and is peculiarly liable to this icy mist. No relief from the 
fog is obtained until either the vapour is removed by cold or the atmosphere cleared 
by rain. Thus on winter nights the fog condenses as hoar-frost, but re-forms soon 
after sunrise ; and the day following rain is exempt from fog, which, however, generally 
soon reappears. When for any reason radiation from the earth is insufficient to produce 
a freezing temperature the fog persists day and night, and may continue for weeks 
until scattered by some unusual wind-current or dissolved by rain. The Grey-Inangahua 
valley lies between two great parallel ranges with its extremities barricaded by hills, 
the only drainage outlets being the gorges of the Buller and the Grey. Thus in fuie 
still weather these form channels by which the heavy air of the valley, cooled in 
the night by earth-radiation, escapes to the lower level of the sea. In consequence, 
during the morning hours there draws through the gorges a steady wind which in winter 
is so keen and cutting as to be jocularly known as " the barber." 

In summer, though the extremes of temperature are not excessive, the high 
atmospheric humidity makes the heat oppressive at times. The highest temperatures 
are experienced in the Grey-Inangahua valley, where the thermometer occasionally 
registers 90° F. in the shade. 

1* — Eeefton. 



FLORA. 

The writer feels himself iacompetent to attempt a full description of the native 
flora of the subdivision, which is similar to that of the areas described in Bulletins 
Nos. 1, 6, 13, and 17, and will confine himself to enumerating such facts of plant- 
distribution as forced themselves under his notice. In the coastal district, which 
includes the region between the mountains and the sea, the vegetation is very dense, 
and several plants occur there which are rare or absent from the Grey-Inangahua 
valley. Thus the nikau {Rhopalostylis sapida), kiekie {Freycinetia Banksii), and hinau 
(ElcBocarpus dentatus), while abundant on the coast, are entirely Wanting from the 
Grey-Inangahua valley. The mamaku {Cyathea medullaris) and tree-nettle (Urtica ferox) 
penetrate inland as far as the Buller-Orikaka junction, while the toro {Myrsine salicina), 
and rangiora {Brachyglottis rangiora) flourish on the limestone soil as far from the 
coast as The Landing and Lyell. The ti-ngahere {Oordyline Banksii) has a similar 
range, but a few plants were also noticed in the Inangahua vaUey above Crushington. 
The supplejack {Rhipogonum scandens) and kidney-fern are rare and local in the Grey- 
Inangahua valley, although common near the coast. 

The forest-trees of the lowlands are similar in both the coastal and inland regions, 
but the Inangahua valley as a whole is dominoted by the beeches, while the pines are 
pre-eminent in the Grey and on the coast. Much of the higher terrace land of the 
lowlands is swampy and bare, or, at the most, scantily forested. On approaching such 
an area from a river it will be noted that the mixed forest of the flood-plain and lower 
terraces becomes more open, and that the beeches increase in number. The breech-zone 
gives place to one of stunted rimu, which in turn merges into the kawhaka-silver-pine 
forest of the swamps. Finally the silver-pines grow smaller, and are replaced by clumps 
of stunted manuka, the open moor being covered with moss and low fern, in spring and 
early summer gay with the blue flowers of Thelymitra and the pink rosettes of Drosera. 

The fragrant Carmichcelia is present on the edge of every mountain-stream, and 
Rubus pa/rvus often carpets sunny boulder mounds in the upper reaches, where also the 
handsome toi {Oordyline indivisa) has its home. The mountains have their zones of 
plant-assemblages. Thus, rising on the mountain-flanks the mixed lowland forest with 
its dense undergrowth becomes more open, and beeches replace the pines. The large- 
leaved totara (the brittle Podocarpus Hallii, not the much more valuable Podocarpus 
totm-a of the lowlands) is common from 1,000 ft. to 1,400 ft., between which limits the 
South Island rata {Meterosideros lucida) also flourishes, and at higher levels replaces the 
totara. In turn these give place to the mountain-beech (Fagus cliffortioides) and the 
kawhaka ; whilst at last just below the fell-fields or alpine meadowland the mountain- 
pine {Dacrydium intermedium) and neinei {Dracophyllum Traversii) appear. 

The alpine meadows usuaUy commence at 3,500 ft. above sea-level on the Paparoas 
and at 4,000 ft. on Victoria Range. The position of the forest-line appears to be 
determined by the amount of winter snow, for its height on the Victoria-Brunner- 
Lyell Range decreases to the north as the highlands project beyond the protection 
from the moist west winds afforded by the Paparoas. Much has been written con- 
cerning the flora of the fell-fields of New Zealand. Those in the Reefton Subdivision 
do not appear to differ in any degree from similar meadows in Westland. Nowhere 
either on the Paparoa or the Victoria Range was Ranunculus Lyallii observed, and 
the vegetable sheep (Raoulia sp.) is apparently not widespread, having been noted only 
on the western mountains, on mounts Raouha, Epping, and Uriah. 

FAUNA. 
As in other parts of New Zealand, the indigenous fauna is becoming every year 
less conspicuous. The kiwi {Apteryx australis and perhaps A. Oweni) is still to be 



found in tlie mountain-valleys, and was observed in the summer above the timber- 
line on the Paparoa Eange. It is now decidedly more common than the weka, which 
only a few years ago was very plentiful. The cry of this latter bird was heard once in 
the Grey valley near the Waipuna, and a few were seen near the mouth of the 
Orikaka. The boom of the kakapo was heard more than once in the fastnesses of the 
mountains, and their tracks were noted above the timber-line of the western range. 
Crows and robins were occasionally seen, but are very scarce ; while pigeons, kakas, and 
pukekos, though often seen, cannot be said to be plentiful. The grey warbler, bell- 
bird, tui, rock-wren, fantail, and tomtit are quite common, even in settled localities. 
A few paradise ducks were observed on the Buller ; the grey duck is fairly common ; 
and every mountain-stream has its pair or more of beautiful blue ducks (whio). Shags 
of more than one species are very numerous, and have regular nesting-places in Shag 
Creek and the Te Wharau and Waitahu rivers, in the last-named stream beyond 
the limits of the subdivision. Kokopo are numerous in all the less-frequented streams, 
and eels are plentiful in all, while the lamprey was occasionally observed. The fact 
that seals were once abundant on the coast is comcmemorated in the name Seal Island 
(Brighton), and it is reported that this mammal still occasionally visits the locality. 

Of introduced animals the largest is the red deer, of which a small but increasing 
herd live in the valley of the upper Inangahua. Fallow deer are common enough 
on the pakihis near Craigieburn (west side of Grey River) and the near-by valley of 
the Big or Freeth River, and one stag was observed in Fletcher Creek, in the Inangahua 
valley. The domestic goat has taken to the bush, and is abundant in the forest 
from Boatman's noi-thward to Lyell, and again in the coastal regions, especially in the 
valley of the Punakaiki. Other feral animals are the cattle that live on the mountains 
at the head of Moonlight Creek and in the upper Waitaha, the pigs to be found in the 
lowlands northward of Larry's Creek, and the occasional forlorn sheep observed on the 
Bnmner and Paparoa ranges ; these latter having been missed in the mustering at 
the time, a few years ago, when sheep were depastured on the mountain -meadows. 
The Australian opossum is doing well in the bush country between the Otututu and 
Freeth rivers, and the fur of the New -Zealand-born animals is said to be superior 
to that of the Australian native. Hares are often seen on the river-beds and open 
country, but rabbits do not thrive. Stoats are quite plentiful, and seem to be 
replacing the weasel, which, though common a few years ago, is now rarely seen. 
Of introduced birds the Californian quail is locally abundant, while the birds which 
constitute the small-bird nuisance are increasingly numerous. Trout have been 
successfully introduced into the rivers, and many fine fish were seen. In the Liangahua, 
from Crushington to the Waitahu junction, the discharge of cyanide-residaes into the 
stream renders it intolerable to animal-life, and a similar condition prevails in portions 
of the Big and Snowy rivers. 

EARLY HISTORY. 

In 1642 Abel Jansen Tasman sighted the west coast of the South Island, and, 
sailing northward, roughly mapped the coast, a work continued by Cook in 1770. To 
the latter navigator is due the name of Cape Foulwind ; but after his visit no explorer 
of note has any record of observation until Dumont D'Urville sighted the Paparoa 
Range in the neighbourhood of Barrytown, and sailed northward along the coast.* 
Next to visit this region were sealers, and about 1836 a post was established near 
Cape Foulwind under one Thom. In 1845 the New Zealand Company sent out two 
surveyors, Thomas Brimner and Charles Heaphy, to explore the West Coast. These 
travelled along the coast-line from West Wanganui to as far south as the Arahura 

* January, 1827. 



Kiver, and returned by the same route. During 1846^8 the intrepid Brunner, this 
time without a white companion, descended the Buller from its source to the sea, 
and traversed the coast-luie as far south as Okarito. His original intention had 
been to cross into Otago, but he returned to the Grey, pushed up that river (discovering 
coal at Brunnerton) and the Mawheraiti, descended the Inangahua, which he called 
the " Inangahua " or " Oweka," and, after suffering incredible hardships, returned to 
Nelson by his former route along the Buller. 

In 1853 Sir George Grey began negotiations for the purchase from the Natives 
of the coastal lands between Kahurangi Point and Milford Soimd. This purchase 
was eventually completed in 1860 by Mr. James Mackay, who in the meantime had 
explored much of western Nelson. In 1859 Mr. John Eochfort commenced a survey 
of the chief streams for the Nelson Provincial Government, and in the course of this 
work traversed the lower Grey, Mawheraiti, Inangahua, and Buller rivers. It was 
the members of his party, which consisted of Maoris, who first discovered payable 
gold on the West Coast, at a spot on the north bank of the Buller near the boundary 
of the subdivision, later known as " Old Diggings." Earlier in the same year (1859) 
Dr. Haast, who had been commissioned by the provincial authorities to report on 
the suitability of west Nelson for settlement, and on its geology and mineral resources, 
left Nelson, reached the coast by way of the Maruia and Grey valleys, and returned 
via the coast through Collingwood. The discovery by Rochfort's party attracted 
gold-seekers, and in 1859 a party from Canterbury came to the Buller by sea, but 
were forced to return overland via Collingwood, disheartened by the hardships awaiting 
them. Others next year came from the then-waning Aorere fields, and were more 
successful, working much ground in the lower Bailer. In 1862 Lyell Creek was worked 
by a party of Maoris, but it was not until gold was discovered in the Greenstone 
River — at Maori Point — in 1864 that the West Coast can be considered to have esta- 
blished its name as a goldfield. Before this, however, the open lands of the Grey 
valley were occupied by settlers. Thus Samuel Mackley, who was with James Mackay 
when the purchase of the Native land was finally completed, settled with his family 
on the Waipuna Run in 1861. Isaac Freeth was on the Ahaura Plains with his 
headquarters near Raupo, and a man named Wood had the Little Grey Run. Later, 
in 1865, the Ahaura, Ohinetakitaki, and Ikamatua plains were acquired by Messrs. 
Pike and Saxton, and the Little Grey Run by Messrs. Fergusson and McHardy. This 
was the time of the Nobles - Little Grey " rush " ; while Redman Creek, near Capleston, 
was not tried before 1866, and the lodes at Reefton were unknown till 1869. 

PREVIOUS GEOLOGICAL OBSERVERS. - 

The late Sir Julius von Haast was the first geologist to examine any part of 
the Reefton Subdivision. His observations, made in 1860, are contained in the " Report 
of a Topographical and Geological Exploration of the Western Districts of the Nelson 
Province " (1861), and embodied in a map in " Von Hochstetter's and Petermann's 
Geological and Topographical Atlas of New Zealand " (1864). From such an exploratory 
survey anything more than a meagre sketch of the geology could not be expected, and 
for a fuller exposition of von Haast's views his " Geology of Canterbury and Westland " 
(1879), although dealing with another area, should be consulted. 

The late Sir James Hector visited the coastal region of the subdivision in 1867, 
and in his report gave a classification of the detrital gold-deposits, with which all 
subsequent observers are in substantial accord. Subsequently he paid several visits 
to the mining districts of the West Coast, but did not visit Reefton till December, 
1873, when he examined the Devonian rocks and such mining properties as had then 
been discovered. In many publications Sir James, furnished from time to time with 



new facts by his field officers, gave expression to his opinions on the geology of the 
districts ; and to these, of which a list appears below, the reader is referred. 

Late in 1875 Mr. S. Herbert Cox, accompanied by Mr. Alexander McKay, made 
a reconnaissance survey of part of the Reefton Subdivision. In his report he discusses 
the relationship of the Devonian rocks to the auriferous series, which he correlates 
with the Maitai Formation. He also makes valuable remarks anent the economic 
geology of the district. 

Mr. McKay examined the Reefton and Inangahua districts in some detail in 1874 
and again in 1882. His second report contains a masterly description of the general 
and economic geology of the area as then known. In later years he visited the West 
Coast on many occasions, and in 1895 published a general account of the region, in 
which much attention is given to the auriferous alluvial deposits, and in which his 
former conclusions, with slight modifications, are reaffirmed. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY. 

Since the date of the earliest gold discoveries on the West Coast numerous papers 
and reports dealing with the geology and mining industry of parts of the Reefton 
Subdivision have appeared. So far as the more important of these are concerned, 
the following list is believed to be fairly complete : — 
The abbreviations used are — 

Trans. : " Transactions of the New Zealand Institute." 

Rep. G.S. : " Reports of the Geological Survey of New Zealand." 

Mines Report : The annual volume published by the Mines Department of 

New Zealand. 
A capital letter followed by a figure (thus, C.-3) refers to a New Zealand 
parliamentary paper. 
1849. " Mr. Brunner's Late Exploring Expedition." The New Zealand Journal, vol. ix, 
Nos. 244 and 254, pp. 80-82 and 197-198. Reprinted (with considerable 
omissions) from the Nelson Examiner. 
1851. Brunner, Thomas : " Journal of an Expedition to explore the Interior of the 
Middle Island of New Zealand." Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, 
vol. XX, 1851, pp. 344-378. 

1861. Haast, Julius von : " Report of a Topographical and Geological Exploration of 

the Western Districts of the Nelson Province, New Zealand." 

1862. Rochfort, John : " Journal of Two Expeditions to the West Coast of the Middle 

Island of New Zealand." Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, vol. xxxii. 

1867. Hector, James : " Abstract Report on the Progress of the Geological Survey 

of New Zealand during 1866-67," pp. 13-15. In this report a description 
and classification of the gold-bearing alluvium of the West Coast is given. 

1868. Hector, James : Rep. G.S., No. 4, pp. 28-34. A reprint of the last-mentioned 

report (with slight alterations). 
1870. Hector, James : " Mining in New Zealand." Trans., vol. ii, pp. 361-384. 
1870. Hector, James : " Preliminary Notes on the Bones of a Fossil Penguin." Trans., 

vol. ii, p. 403. The bones were found on Seal Island, near Brighton. 
1872. Hector, James : " On the Remains of a Gigantic Penguin {Palceeudyptes antarcticus, 

Huxley) from the Tertiary Rocks of the West Coast of Nelson." Trans., 

vol. iv, pp. 341-346. 
1872. Hector, James : " Report on the Coal-mines in the Western District of the Province 

of Nelson." Rep. G.S. during 1871-72, No. 7, pp. 129-141, especially p. 134. 
1872. Hector, James : " General Report on the Coals of New Zealand." Ibid., pp. 172-181 

Analyses of Murray Creek and Brighton coals are given on p. 176. 



1872. Hutton, F. W. : " Synopsis of the Younger Formations of New Zealand." 

Ihid., pp. 182-184. 

1873. Hector, James : " Further Notice of Bones of a Fossil Penguin {Palceeudyptes 

antarcticus, Huxley)." Trans., vol. v, pp. 438-439. 
1873. Hutton, F. W. : " Catalogue of the Tertiary Mollusca and Echinodermata of 

New Zealand." Many of the species described were collected near Brighton. 
1873. Hutton, F. W. : " Synopsis of the Younger Formations of New Zealand." 

Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, vol. xxix, pp. 372-379. Hutton 

classes the rocks of Brighton in the Ototara Group of Eocene age. 

1873. H.-7, pp. 13-21. Eeports of the Goldfields Wardens. 

1874. Hector, James : " New Zealand Geological Sketch-map, constructed from Official 

Surveys and the Exploration of Dr. F. von Hochstetter, Dr. J. von Haast, 
and Others." 

1874. H.-9, pp. 8-16. Eeports of the Goldfields Wardens. 

1875. Dobson, A. D. : " On the Date of the Glacial Period ; a Comparison of Views 

represented in Papers published in the ' Transactions of the New Zealand 
Institute,' Vols, v and vi." Trans., vol. vii, pp. 440^46. Mention is made 
of the raised beaches at Brighton and Charleston. 

1875. H.-3, pp. 9-13. Eeports of the Goldfields Wardens. 

1876. Woodward, H. : " On a New Fossil Crab from the Tertiary of New Zealand." 

Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, vol. xxxii, pp. 51-56. The crab 
was collected from Seal Island, near Brighton. In a note by Dr. Hector a 
classification of the Mesozoic and Caiaozoic beds in New Zealand is given. 

1876. H.-3, pp. 18-20. Eeports of the Goldfields Wardens. 

1877. Hector, James : " Progress Eeports." Eep. G.S. during 1873-74, No. 8, pp. xiv-xvi. 

Sections along the Inangahua and Fox rivers are shown. 
1877. McKay, Alexander : " Eeports relative to Collections of Fossils made on the 

West Coast District, South Island." Ibid., pp. 74-115. Pages 84 to 102 

and 107 to 111 deal with the Eeefton Subdivision. An unconformity in the 

Tertiary sequence near the mouth of the Fox is mentioned' on page 108. 
1877. Hector, James : " On a New Trilobite {Homalonotus expansus)." Trans., vol. ix, 

p. 602. Collected from the Devonian rocks of Eeefton. 
1877. Hector, James : " Progress Eeport, 1874-76." Eep. G.S. during 1874^76, No. 9. 

On p. ix Hector states that the sandstones of Seal Eock, Brighton, underlie 

the Cobden limestone. 
1877. McKay, A. : " Eeport on Weka Pass and Buller Districts." Ibid., pp. 36^2. 
1877. Cox, S. Herbert : " Eeport on Westland District." Ibid., pp. 63-93. Facing 

page 66 is a map and sections. 

1877. H.-l, p. 13. Eeports of the Goldfields Wardens. 

1878. Cox, S. Herbert : " The Energetic CoUiery, Eeefton." Eep. G.S. during 1877-78, 

No. 11, p. 174. 
1878. Hector, James : Appendices giving a List of Localities where Fossils have been 
found. Ibid., pp. 189-210. 

1878. H.^, pp. 9-11. Eeports of the Goldfields Wardens. 

1879. Hector, James : " Handbook of New Zealand." This book was issued for 

distribution at the Sydney International Exhibition, 1879. Further editions 
were published in 1880, 1883, and 1886. There are brief references to the 
geology of parts of the Eeefton Subdivision on pages 20 to 43. 

1879. Hector, James : " Progress Eeport, 1878-79." Eep. G.S. during 1878-79, No. 12, 
pp. 1-17. A brief outline of New Zealand geology is given. 

1879. H.-ll, pp. 15-18. Eeports of the Goldfields Wardens. 



1880. H.-26, pp. 14^21. Eeports of tlie Goldfields Wardens. Mr. Warden Mackay 

gives an excellent account of alluvial mining near Barrytown. 

1881. Hector, James : " On the Distribution of the Auriferous Cements in New 

Zealand." Trans., vol. xiii, p. 429. 

1881. H.-17, pp. 22-27. Reports of the Goldfields Wardens. 

1882. Hector, James : " Index to Fossiliferous Localities in New Zealand." Rep. G.S. 

during 1881, No. 1a, pp. 118-128. 
1882. Cox, S. Herbert : " Notes on the Mineralogy of New Zealand." Trans., vol. xiv, 
pp. 418-450. The writer mentions stibnite, cassiterite, and spathic iron as 
occurring in the Reefton Subdivision. 

1882. H.-19, pp. 21-26. Reports of the Goldfields Wardens. 

1883. Hector James : " Progress Report, 1882." Rep. G.S. during 1882, No. 15, 

pp. xxii-xxx. Compares the Devonian rocks of Reefton with the Silurian 

of Baton River. 
1883. McKay, A. : " On an Antimony Lode at Reefton, Inangahua County." Ibid., 

pp. 88-90. 
1883. McKay, A. : " On the Geology of the Reefton District, Liangahua Comity." 

lUd., pp. 91-153. 
1883. Cox, S. Herbert : " Notes on the Mineralogy of New Zealand." Trans., vol. xv, 

pp. 361-409. Mentions the coals and limestones of the Reefton Subdivision. 

1883. H.-5. Reports of the Goldfields Wardens. 

1884. Hector, James : " Progress Report, 1883." Rep. G.S. during 1883-84, No. 16, 

pp. xii-xv. Table of the sedimentary rocks of New Zealand. 

1884. H.-9, pp. 8-10 and 30-34. Reports of the Lispecting Engineer and Goldfields 

Wardens. 

1885. Hutton, F. W. : " Sketch of the Geology of New Zealand." Quarterly Journal 

of the Geological Society, vol. xli, pp. 191-220. Hutton places the Brighton 
limestone in his Oamaru System. 

1885. C.-2, pp. 38-41. Reports of the Goldfields Wardens. 

1886. C.-4A, pp. 17-20. Reports of the Goldfields Wardens. 

1886. C.^, pp. 34-37. Report of the Inspecting Engineer. 

1887. Hector, James : " Index to Fossiliferous Localities in New Zealand." Rep. G.S., 

No. 18, pp. 255-270. 

1887. Galvin, P. : " The Handbook of New Zealand Mines." This publication, edited 
by Mr. P. Galvin, contains an excellent account of the early gold discoveries 
on the West Coast. The allavial mining at Brighton and the Little Grey district 
receives considerable attention, and lode-mining at Reefton is well described. 

1887. Ettingshausen, Constantin von : " Breitrage zur Kenntniss der fossilen Flora 
Neuseelands." Denkschriften der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Classe 
der Kaiserlichen Akadamie der Wissenschaften (Vienna), band liii. Plant- 
remains from various localities in New Zealand are described. Those from 
the Reefton coal-measures are considered to indicate a Cretaceous age. See 
also Trans., vol. xxiii, 1891, pp. 237-310. 

1887. Mines Report. Contains the reports of the Inspecting Engineer, pp. 37-40, and 

of the Goldfields Wardens, pp. 137-142. 

1888. Mines Report. Contains the reports of the Inspecting Engineer, C.-5, pp. 30-33, 

and of the Goldfields Wardens, C.-6, pp. 18-25. 

1889. Park, James: "On the Extent and Duration of Workable Coal in New Zea- 

land." Trans., vol. xxi, pp. 325-331. The Inangahua valley is estimated to 
contahi 100,000,000 tons of workable coal. 



10 

1889. Hutton, F. W. : " The Eruptive Kocks of New Zealand." Jour, and Proc. 

Koy. Soc, N.S.W., vol. xxiii, pp. Ill and 130. 
1889. Binns, Gr. J. : " On a Striated Rock-surface from Boatman's, near Reefton." 

Trans., vol. xxi, pp. 335-336. 

1889. Mines Report, C.-2. Contains the reports of the Inspecting Engineer, pp. 47-50, 

and of the Goldfields Wardens and Inspectors of Mines, pp. 111-115. 

1890. Hutton, F. W. : " On the Relative Ages of the New Zealand Coalfields." Trans., 

vol. xxii, pp. 377-387. In this paper Hutton places the Reefton coals in the 

Amuri System. 
1890. Hutton, F. W. : " Note on the Geology of the Country about Lyell." Trans., 

vol. xxii, pp. 387-390. Notes the resemblance of the Lyell slates to those of 

Reefton. 
1890. Hector, James: "Progress Report, 1888-89." Rep. G.S. during 1888-89, No. 20, 

p. xxvii. Hector estimates the area of the Reefton coal-measures at 12,800 

acres, and the tonnage available at 5,120,000 tons. 

1890. Mines Report, C.-3. Contains the reports of the Inspecting Engineer, pp. 54^57, 

Wardens, pp. 154-158, and Inspector of Mines, pp. 200-201. 

1891. Ettingshausen, Constantin. von : " Contributions to the Knowledge of the Fossil 

Flora of New Zealand." Trans., vol. xxiii, pp. 237-310. A translation by 
C. Juhl of von Ettingshatisen's paper of 1887. 

1891. Mines Report, C.-4. Contains the reports of the Inspecting Engineer, pp. 46-50, 

Wardens and Inspector of Mines, pp. 160-167. 

1892. Hector, James: "Progress Report, 1890-91." Rep. G.S. during 1890-91, No. 21, 

pp. xxxiii-xli. Under the heading " Buller Coalfield " Hector criticizes Hatton's 
paper " On the Relative Ages of the New Zealand Coalfields," and incidentally 
gives many facts concerning the geology of the Reefton Subdivision. 

1892. McKay, Alexander : " On the Geology of Marlborough and South-east Nelson." 
Ihid,., pp. 20-22. An important paper describing the great faults of New 
Zealand. 

1892. Hector, James : " Minerals of New Zealand." Ihid., pp. 105-120. Some minerals 
and localities in the Reefton Subdivision are mentioned. For this list see 
also Trans. Aust. Ass. Adv. Sci., vol. ii, 1891, p. 269, and New Zealand Mines 
Record, vol. iii, 1899-1900, pp. 256-262. 

1892. Hector, James: "Index to Fossiliferous Localities in New Zealand." Ihid., 
pp. 120-178. See particularly pages 153 and 155. 

1892. Mines Report. Reports of the Inspecting Engineer, C.-3, pp. 51-59, Wardens 

and Inspectors of Mines, C.-3a, pp. 19-26. 

1893. Mines Report. Reports of the Inspecting Engineer, C.-3, pp. 77-83, and the 

Warden, C.-3, pp. xix-xxvi. 

1894. Mines Report. Reports of the Inspecting Engineer, C.-3, pp. 70-79, and the 

Warden, C.-3a, pp. 20-26. 

1894. Murray, R. A. F. : " Deep Quartz-mining in New Zealand ." Mines Report, 

C.-6, especially pp. 5-7 and 9. 

1895. Mines Report. Reports of the Inspecting Engineer, C.-3, pp. 70-83, and the 

Warden and Inspector of Mines, C.-3a, pp. 19-26. 

1895. McKay, Alexander :" " Report on the Geology of the South-west Part of Nelson 

and the Northern Part of the Westland District." Mines Report, C.-13. This 
very valuable paper is accompanied by a coloured map. 

1896. Mines Report. Reports of the Inspecting Engineer, C.-3, pp. 94-105, the Warden, 

C.-3A, pp. 9-12, 15-16, and the Inspector of Mines, C.^a, pp. 30-34. 



11 

1896. Gordon, H. A., and McKay, A.: "Mining Eeserves, Westland and Nelson." 
Mines Eeport, C.-9. 

1896. " Midland Railway Arbitration." D.-4. 

1897. Gordon, H. A. : Presidential Address, Trans. N.Z. Inst. Min. Eng., vol. i. 

1897. Mines Report. Reports of the Inspecting Engineer, C.-3, pp. 113-118 and 127, 

the Warden, C.-3a, pp. 9-15, and the Inspector of Mines, C.-3a, pp. 31-35. 

1898. Don, J. R. : " The Genesis of certain Auriferous Lodes." Trans. Amer. Inst. 

Min. Eng., vol. xxvii, pp. 564-668. In this classic paper assays of country 

rock, &c., from the Reefton district are given. 
1898. Mines Report. Reports of the Inspecting Engineer, C.-3, pp. 91-97, the Warden, 

C.-3A, pp. 14^19, and the Inspector of Mines, C.-3a, pp. 55-58. 
1898. McKay, A. : " Report on the Auriferous Rocks of the Western Slopes of the 

Victoria Mountains, Nelson." Mines Report, C.-9, pp. 1-3. An account of the 

lodes of Kirwan's Hill. 

1898. McKay, A. : " Report on the Auriferous Character of Boatman's Creek, Inangahua 

Valley." Mines Report, C.-9, pp. 3, 4. 

1899. MacLeod, W. A. : " Notes on a West Coast Dolerite." Trans., vol. xxxi, 

pp. 487-488. Description and analysis of a dyke on Kirwan's Hill. 
1899. Mines Report. Reports of the Inspecting Engineer, C.-3, pp. 84-91 and 108-111, 
the Warden, C.-3a, pp. 11-23, and the Inspector of Mines, C.-3a, pp. 55-60. 

1899. McKay, A. : " Notes on the Auriferous Ironsands of New Zealand." Mines Report, 

C.-9, pp. 15-16. (See also New Zealand Mines Record, vol. i, pp. 395 and 446. 
Also reprinted in 1901 as a pamphlet.) Mentions the marine blacksands of 
the subdivision. 

1900. Button, F. W. : " The Geological History of New Zealand." Trans., vol. xxxii, 

pp. 159-183. 
1900. Park, James : " Notes on the Coalfields of New Zealand." New Zealand Mines 

Record, vol. iii, pp. 349-352. (See also Proc. Inst. Min. and Met., vol. viii, 

p. 146.) 
1900. Hector, James: "Iron Ores and Sands of New Zealand." New Zealand Mines 

Record, vol. iii, pp. 472-474. Reprinted from " Handbook of New Zealand," 1886. 
1900. McKay, A. : " Further Notes on the Iron-ores of New Zealand." New Zealand 

Mines Record, vol. iii, p. 474. 

1900. Mmes Report, C.-3. Reports of the Inspector of Mines, pp. 94-99, and the 

Warden, pp. 121-133. 

1901. Mines Report, C.-3. Reports of the Inspector of Mines, pp. 58-65, and the 

Warden, pp. 83-102. 

1902. Mines Reports, C.-3. Reports of the Inspector of Mines, pp. 53-58, and the 

Warden, pp. 94-99. 

1903. McKay, A. : " Gold-deposits of New Zealand." This booklet, largely a reprmt 

from articles in the New Zealand Mines Record, vols, v and vi, deals on 
pp. 25-38 with gold-occurrences in the Reefton Subdivision. 
1903. Hamilton, A. : " List of Papers on the Geology of New Zealand." Trans., 
vol. XXXV, pp. 489-546. 

1903. Mines Report, C.-3. Reports of the Inspector of Mines, pp. 100-106, and the 

Warden, pp. 150-157. 

1904. Park, James : " On the Age and Relations of the New Zealand Coalfields." 

Trans., vol. xxxvi, pp. 405-418. Park divides the principal coalfields into two 
groups, and places the Inangahua coals in the younger. 
1904. Mines Report, C.-3. Reports of the Inspector of Mines, pp. 55-63, and the 
Warden, pp. 104-114. 



12 

1905. Marshall, P. :. " Geograpliy of New Zealand." The author makes general refer- 
ences to the physical features and economic resources of the Reefton Sub- 
division. 

1905. Mines Report, C.-3. Reports of the Inspector of Mines, pp. 45-54, and the 

Warden, pp. 92-101. 

1906. Galvin, P. (editor) : " The New Zealand Mining Handbook." A publication on 

similar lines to that of 1887. 
1906. Loughnan, R. A. : " The First Gold Discoveries in New Zealand." This pamphlet, 

reprinted from vols, ix and x of the New Zealand Mines Record, is a popular 

account of the subject. 
1906. Bell, J. M. : " The Salient Features of the Economic Geology of New Zealand." 

Economic Geology, vol. i, No. 8, pp. 735-750. (See also New Zealand Mines 

Record, vol. xi, pp. 335-340.) 

1906. Mines Report, C.-3. Reports of the Inspector of Mines, pp. 49-58, and the 

Warden, pp. 96-106. 

1907. Maclaurin, J. S. : " Report on Analyses of New Zealand Coals made at New 

Zealand International Exhibition, Christchurch, 1906-7." 
1907. Bell, J. M. : " The Mineral Wealth of New Zealand." Jour, of Royal Colonial 
Inst., vol. xxxix, pp. 38-56. (See also New Zealand Mines Record, vol. xi, 
pp. 240-244.) 

1907. Mines Report, C.-3. Reports of the Inspector of Mines, pp. 26-32, and the 

Warden, pp. 52-54. 

1908. Maclaren, J. M. : " Gold, its Geological Occurrence and Geographical Distribu- 

tion," pp. 318-319. 
1908. Bell, J. M. : " The Potentialities of New Zealand as a Mining Country. Austra- 
lian Mining Standard. (Abstract in New Zealand Mines Record, vol. xii, 
pp. 289-293.) 

1908. Mines Report, C.-3. Report of the Inspector of Mmes, pp. 24r-29. 

1909. Finlayson, A. M. : " The Geology of the Reefton Gold Veins." Trans., vol. xli, 

pp. 85-98. 
1909. Park, James : " Outlines of New Zealand Geology." New Zealand Mines Record, 
vol. xii. Later embodied m " The Geology of New Zealand." 

1909. Mines Report, C.-3. Reports of the Inspecting Engineer, pp. 7-8 (with four 

plans), the Inspector of Mines, pp. 28-32, and the Warden, pp. 46-50. 

1910. Hamilton, A. : " The Present Position of New Zealand Palaeontology ; with a List 

of Papers on the Palseontology of New Zealand, including the Titles of those 
Stratigraphical Papers containing Important Lists of Fossils." Trans., vol. xlii, 
pp. 46-63. 

1910. Park, James : " Geology of New Zealand." It is impossible to enumerate here all 
the references bearing on the geology of the Reefton Subdivision ; but pages 
329-330 and 370-374 relate to the coal seams and lodes of the district respec- 
tively. 

1910. Henderson, J. : " The Coalfields of West Nelson." Trans., vol. xliii, pp. 297^06. 

1910. Henderson, J. : " On the Genesis of the Surface - forms and present Drainage 
Systems of West Nelson." Ihid., pp. 306-315. 

1910. Mines Report, C.-3. Reports of the Inspector of Mines, pp. 25-29, and the 

Warden, pp. 45^6. 

1911. Morgan, P. G. : " The Geology of the Greymouth Subdivision, North Westland." 

N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 13 (New Series). This bulletin deals with an area adjoining 
the Reeftonj, Subdivision on the south, and, together with Bulletins Nos. 1, 6, 
and 17, should be consulted in connection with the present publication. 



13 

1911. Marshall, P.: "New Zealand and Adjacent Islands." Handbuch der Regionalen 
Geologic, vii band, i abteilung. 

1911. Mines Report, C.-3. Reports of the Inspector of Mines, pp. 30-34, and the 

Warden, pp. 43^6. 

1912. Marshall, P. : ' Geology of New Zealand." An intrcdnctory handbook containing 

a luminous exposition of the writer's views. 
1912. Mines Report, C.-2. Reports of the Inspector of Mines, pp. 45-49, and the 
Warden, p. 63. 

1912. Hall, E. K. : " The Reefton Goldfield, New Zealand." Australian Mining 

Standard, vol. xlviii, pp. 585-6. 

1913. Mines Report, C.-2. Reports of the Inspecting Engineer, p. 6 (with t— o plans), 

the Inspector of Mines, pp. 27-31, and the Warden, pp. 44-45. 

1914. Bartrum, J. A. : " The Geological History of the Westport-Charleston High-level 

Terraces." Trans., vol. xlvi, pp. 255-262. 
1914. Bartrum, J. A. : " Some Intrusive Igneous Rocks from the Westpoi-t District." 

Ibid. pp. 262-269 The petrographical description of a diorite from the Fox River 

is given. 
1914. Morgan, P. G. : " Unconformities in the Stratified Rocks of the West Coast of the 

South Island." Ibid., pp. 270-278. 

1914. Mines Report, C.-2. Reports of the Inspector of Mines, pp. 43-47, and the 

Warden, pp. 59-61. 

1915. Morgan, P. G., and Bartrum, J. A. : " The Geology and Mineral Resources of the 

BuUer-Mokihinui Subdivision, Westport." N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 17 (New Series). 
This bulletin deals with an area adjoining the Reefton Subdivision on the 
north. 



14 



CHAPTER II. 



Population 

Means of Communication 
Water-races and Dams . . 
Industries . . 
Introduction 

General and Historical Account of the 
Mining Industry . . 
The Mining of Detrital Gold 
Lode-mining 
Mining and Treatment Methods 



CULTUKE. 




Page. 




Page 


. 14 


Industries — continued. 




. 15 


General and Historical Accoimt — contd. 




. 16 


Lode-mining — continued. 




. 17 


Labour Conditions 


28 


. 17 


Mining and Treatment Costs 


29 


e 


Financial and other Conditions 


31 


. 17 


Coal-mining 


31 


. 17 


Methods of Working 


32 


. 20 


Timber Industry 


32 


. 23 


Other Primary Industries 


33 



POPULATION. 

The Reefton Subdivision contains most of Inangahua County, including the whole of its 
inhabited portion, as well as parts of the counties of Buller and Grey. According 
to the census of 1911, 4,503 people lived in Inangahua County, while for those parts of 
Buller and Grey counties within the subdivision the writer estimates a population of 
100 and 350 respectively. Thus the total population of the subdivision in 1911 was 
probably slightly under 5,000. 

The only town of the subdivision, Reefton, with about 1,800 inhabitants, is built 
on the flood-plain and low terraces of the Inangahua at its debouchure from its lower 
gorge. It has an excellent water-supply and drainage system, and is lighted by elec- 
tricity generated by water drawn from the river. Reefton, which is forty-seven miles 
by rail from the port of Greymouth, acts as a distributing-centre for several small 
townships near it, such as Black's Point and Crushington on the Inangahua, Soldiers, 
Progress Junction, Globe Mine, and Big River to the south, and Cronadun, Capleston, 
and Inangahua Junction to the north. Inangahua Junction and Cronadun are small 
villages in the rising agricultural districts of the middle Buller and Inangahua valleys, 
whilst the others are mining townships. In the Grey valley on the railway-line are 
Ikamatua and Totara Flat. The former, with two large sawmills close at hand, acts as 
a distributing-centre for the growing townships of Hukarere, Blackwater, and Waiuta, 
while Totara Flat, the centre of one of the richest agricultural districts on the "West 
Coast, discharges this function for the once-important alluAdal-mining townships of Gran- 
ville and Nobles. As places of departure for the upper Grey valley, Ikamatua and 
Totara Flat are equally convenient. On the coastal district Barrytown is the only 
township ; alluvial mining is still carried on in its neighbourhood, but agriculture is 
likely to have an increasing importance. 

In the old days mushroom townships sprang up at each alluvial " rush. " Some, like 
Soldiers, Blackwater, Granville, Moonlight, and Barrytown, are still in existence ; others, 
such as St. Ealda and Brighton on the coast-line. Upper Blackball, Nobles, Adamstown, 
Squaretown, Antonio's Flat, and Maori Gully in the Grey basin, Cement Town and 
Landing Creek in -the Inangahua valley, are now little more than names. Townships 
placed conveniently to lode-mines have usually proved to be more permanent, but of 
these Merrijigs is decadent, while Kirwan's Hill and Colinton (on Larry Creek) are 
quite deserted. In the " sixties " the river-beds were the main roads of the sub- 
division, and near them were established distributing-centres for the miners who toiled 
in the back gullies. In the Grey valley these centres were Totara Flat and Squaretown, 
the latter situated near where the Maimai Railway-station now stands. In the Inanga- 



15 

hua valley were Inangahua Junction and Kynnersley.* At that time tlie low liills 
between the Mawheraiti and Liangahua were crossed by a pack-track that followed the 
former stream nearly to its head, and entered the Inangahua fall by way of Donkey 
Creek. Kynnersley, situated on the north bank of the Waitahu, near the present 
railway-bridge, was conveniently situated for traffic from the Grey valley, but the early 
discovery of the auriferous lodes of Murray Creek and the Inangahua valley led to its 
abandonment for the new township of Reefton, while Cronadun absorbed the function 
of distributing-centre for the alluvial diggings of Boatman, Larry, and Landing creeks. 

By far the greater part of the population of the subdivision has always been 
directly dependent on mining for a livelihood. At first alluvial digging supported the 
bulk, but now, and for a long time past, lode-mining has required the greater number 
of workers. The writer does not anticipate any diminution of the number so employed 
for many yfears to come. It is probable, however, that before long the coal-mining 
industry will assume as great if not greater proportions than the present lode-mining. 
The timber industry of the subdivision now employs as many workmen as it ever did 
or is likely to do. Agriculture, although it will never attain the importance reached 
in districts more favoured by soil and climate, ought in the future to engage an increas- 
ing number of people. 

MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. 

The Reefton Subdivision possesses no seaport, and conomunication with the rest of 
New Zealand is maintained by railway and road. The Midland Railway, which con- 
nects with the bar harbour of Greymouth, enters the subdivision at the south-west 
corner of Mawheraiti Survey District, continues along the valley of the Grey and 
Mawheraiti, and crosses a low saddle near Reefton into the basin of the Inangahua. 
The line has been constructed down this valley as far as Inangahua Junction, a dis- 
tance of twenty miles. Ultimately it is intended to extend the line both down the 
Buller to link with the railway creeping along the river from Westport (forty-nine miles 
from Reefton) and up the Buller to connect with the Nelson system, which now ends at 
Glenhope (seventy-four miles from Reefton). Meanwhile a motor service from and to 
Reefton is maintained over excellent roads, that with Westport being daily and that with 
Glenhope thrice weekly. Two trains run daily to Greymouth, and at Stillwater Junction 
connection is made with the tri-weekly Greymouth-Christchurch service over Arthur's Pass. 

The subdivision is well roaded, and everywhere macadamizing-material is abundant. 
In addition to the undermentioned roads and tracks, the tramways of the various 
sawmilling companies often afford ready access to localities otherwise difficult. From 
Reefton four main roads radiate. One follows the Inangahua to its junction with the 
Buller, whence branches go down that river to Westport and up it to Nelson and 
Blenheim. Another follows the Inangahua to its source, and, crossing the Rahu 
Saddle, reaches the Maruia Plain from which the traveller may either proceed down- 
stream to Murchison or go up the valley to Canterbury. The third important road 
serves the mining townships of Soldiers, Progress Junction, Merrijigs, and Big 
River. The fourth road crosses a saddle into the basin of the Mawheraiti, and follows 
the railway to Greymouth. 

Numerous roads and tracks leave these main arteries, but of these only a few 
deserve mention, the position and course of the others being sufficiently indicated 011 
the maps. About five miles north of Three-channel Flat Post-office a track climbs 
to the ridge in the great bend of the Buller, and reaches the alpine meadow of 

* The township-site at the mouth of the Mokihinui River, twenty-five miles north of Westport, is also 
called Kynnersley. Both places were named after the late Caleb Kynnersley, the first Warden of the_^Nelson 
goldfield. 



IG 

Boundary Peak. At one time it was intended to extend this track to Kirwan Hill 
by way of tlie forest-bare country round tlie head of Larry Creek. At Three-channel 
Flat a cage across the BuUer connects with a bridle-track that leads to Welshman 
pakihi, and finally goes out of the subdivision on its way to the Orikaka valley. What 
is known as Crook Road leaves the main Nelson Road about half a mile from the 
Inangahua, and follows the eastern side of the valley to The Landing, where it rejoins 
the main Inangahua Road. From Cronadun a road leads up Boatman Creek to 
Capleston, whence one track continues up the creek to Kirwan Hill while another gives 
access to the upper valley of Larry Creek. From the Reefton-Greymouth Road a 
branch ascends the Blackwater River valley to the mining townships of Blackwater 
and Waiuta, from the latter of which a bridle-track leads to the Big River. An 
old digger's track — Quigley's Track — ^leaves the road at the Big River junction, and, 
after following that stream for several miles, rises to the plateau country at the heads 
of Antonio and Slab Hut creeks, reaches Maori Gully, from whence it descends into 
Devil Creek and joins the Progress Road. The principal highway up the Big Grey 
is along the south bank of that river for many miles, first as a road and then as a 
pack-track, which ultimately leads to the great valley between the Spenser and 
Victoria mountains. To reach the settlers on the western bank of the Grey it is 
necessary either to cross the river west of Ahaura (where there is a ferry) or to take 
the road from Blackball, where the Grey is bridged. This road reaches as far north 
as opposite Raupo, and pack-tracks leave it for the upper valleys of Blackball, 
Moonlight, and Freeth streams, ultimately in all cases attaining the grassy uplands 
of the Paparoa Range. 

Communication between Westport and Greymouth along the coast is possible 
only by horse or on foot. Vehicles may be taken from the south as far as the 
Punakaiki River and from the north to the steep descent of TuMnu Hill, near 
Brighton. These points are connected by a pack-track following the shore, and in 
part widened to a road. Until recently traffic from the Punakaiki to the Fox River 
was along what is known as the " Inland Road," a bridle-track which gives access 
to and follows a depression between the mountains and the coastal hills of this region. 
One other track deserves mention, which, starting from without the subdivision, leads 
along the Four-mile Stream to the foot of the Paparoa Mountains. At one time it 
was intended to form this track right across the range by way of the Waitakere-Gordon 
saddle, but this useless undertaking was abandoned many years ago. 

WATER-RACES AND DAMS. 
The power requirements of the stamp mills are largely satisfied by the utilization 
of the abundant water-power of the district. The most important work so far 
undertaken for this purpose is the Progress race, which is over ten miles in length, 
and draws water from the Inangahua River capable of developing sufficient power to 
drive all the machinery of a 65-stamp mill. Other notable races are those in 
connection with the crushing plants of the Wealth of Nations, Keep-it-Dark, Big River, 
and Blackwater mines. As a consequence of the closing - down of unprofitable or 
apparently worked-out mines, the races used to convey power - water for their crashing 
plants have been allowed to fall into disrepair, as in the case of Anderson's, Caledonian, 
Just-in-Time, Kirwan's Reward, Golden Lead, Minerva, Croesus, and Garden Gully 
batteries. Formerly water-power was extensively used for winding in shafts — for 
instance, in the Caledonian, Fiery Cross, Wealth of Nations, Keep-it-Dark, Globe, and 
Big River mines — but now only one plant of this nature is in operation— namely, 
that at the Golden Point Mine. Power for the Mawheraiti sawmill is drawn from 
Stony Creek, and De Filippi's sawmill is similarly driven from Flaxbush Creek. Part. 



17 

of the power required by the electric-light plant at Reefton is supplied by a turbine 
driven by water from the Inangahua River. 

In the early days of alluvial mining innumerable races were constructed by the 
diggers for sluicing purposes. These were usually small, and the water they carried 
was used to remove tailings rather than break down the wash. In later years larger 
races at higher levels were constructed for hydraulic sluicing. Important works, for 
purposes ranging from mere ground-sluicing to elevating, are Howell's race near 
Capleston, Sewell's race at Merrijigs, Baybutt's race near Granville, Jenkin's race at 
Garden Gully, Wessel's and Perotti's races at Upper Blackball, and the Canoe Creek 
and Baker Creek races near Barrytown. The race from the Roaring Meg Stream, 
which commands the Healy Gully gravels, also has its head in the subdivision. In 
connection with the Upper Blackball races it should be mentioned that a tunnel has 
been driven through the low spur separating the Roaring Meg from the Blackball, 
and it is possible to divert the former stream through it down the Blackball. 

Small races to supply water for domestic purposes exist at Lyell, Capleston, and 
Reefton, while a much more ambitious scheme is projected to tap the Ten -mile Creek 
in order to provide a high-pressure service for the Greymouth Borough, which at 
present depends on water pumped from the Grey River. 

The old diggers, in order to further sluicing operations, often constructed dams 
in creeks or on terraces, but of these usually only traces now remain. In later times 
dams have also been built to conserve water for boilerTfeed, for ore-crushing, or for 
power purposes. Of these the largest dam is that at the head of the Big River, 
which contains water to augment the power-supply at the Big River battery during 
dry weather. 

INDUSTRIES. 
Introduction. 

Although the first white inhabitants of the subdivision settled as graziers on the 
open terraces of the Grey valley, the discovery of rich alluvial gold which took place 
a few years later was the chief factor in increasing the population and opening up 
the district. Gold-quartz mining soon came into prominence and gave a permanence 
to the mining industry, which alluvial digging alone could not guarantee. Coal- 
mining sprang up as an adjunct to lode-mining, on the prosperity of which its 
existence in this subdivision is still almost entirely dependent. Similarly the prosperity 
of the timber industry is to a large extent based on the lumber consumed by the 
gold-quartz mines and the community they support. Agriculture, though making 
progress, is not in a forward state, and it is probable that a great deal of produce 
will always require to be imported to supply the needs of the mining population. 

General and Historical Account op the Mining Industry. 

TJie Mining of Detrital Gold. 

Payable gold was first found on the West Coast in 1859, by the Maoris of John 
Rochfort's survey party, at the " Old Diggings " on the north bank of the Buller, 
within or near the boimdary of the Reefton Subdivision. This locality and the Buller 
valley below it were worked with some success in 1860-61 by miners from the 
CoUingwood goldfield. The next important workings were in the basin of Lyell 
Creek, from which in 1862 a party of Maoris got a considerable quantity of coarse 
gold. It is probable that during these years a portion of the Buller valley between 
Lyell Creek and Old Diggings, as well as the lower Inangahua basin,* alao received 

* Hochstettor and Petermann's map of Nelson, published in 1864, shows numerous gold-workings between 
Lyell and Inangahua Junction. 

2 — Reefton. 



18 

attention from prospectors, but of this there seems to be no record, and certainly 
no important find was made. It was not until the discovery and exploitation of 
the Greenstone and Waimea goldfields during 1864-65 that the West Coast established the 
reputation of being an important goldfield. The year 1865 saw prospectors, using 
Hokitika and Blaketown (now part of Greymouth) as centres, searching every gully in the 
surrounding districts. In July of that year No Town, Red Jack, Nelson, Callaghan, 
and Blackball creeks , Were prospected, the latter in August yieldhig to a Maori a 
22 oz. nugget. It was early in 1865 that George Moonlight, travelling overland from 
Westport to the Grey valley "rush," descended from the ridges of the Paparoas into 
the stream which bears his name, and found rich gold-bearing wash in the creek-bed 
near the present township. Next year the discovery of two nuggets, of 78 oz. and 
79 oz. respectively, in this creek is recorded. In March, 1866, there were " rushes '"' 
still farther up the Grey. Duffer, Nobles, Snowy, Blackwater, and Antonio creeks 
became famous, and by May a thousand miners were in the Little Grey valley. In 
April of the same year prospectors reached Maori Gully, a small branch of Slab Hut 
Creek, and in the early spring Redman found payable wash in the tributary of Boatman 
Creek that bears his name. Other discoveries were quickly made, and soon Little 
Landing, Frying-pan, Flower, Soldier, Murray, Lankey, and Rainy creeks were being 
energetically worked. Boatman Creek owes its name to the fact that a party of 
boatmen, who had brought a load of provisions from Westport to The Landing, found 
rich gold-bearing gravel in that stream. 

In 1866 the beach leads and raised beaches, so rich in the Waimea district, were 
traced northward from Greymouth along the coast as far as the Seventeen-mile Beach 
and Canoe Creek. About this time also the Westport district, which had been rather 
neglected for the more favoured fields of Westland and the Grey valley, began to receive 
more attention, and the rich marine gravels south of the Brdler were discovered. 
This was a most important " rush," and by October twelve hilndred men were working 
near Charleston. Then came the find at the Fox River, and within a week thousands 
of diggers, it is said, were camped on the beach between Brighton and St. Kilda, 
By December the leads had been traced as far south as the Gentle Aimie Rocks. 

This year saw the general boimdaries of the auriferous areas on the West Coast 
approximately known. The gold-yield soon declined, at first rapidly, but in a few 
years more slowly, as the decrease in the cost of living, brought about by the 
improvement of the means of communication, enabled ground unpayable at first to be 
profitably worked. Discoveries of new ground in old fields prolonged their life. Such 
discoveries were made on the high terraces at Razorback in 1871, at Teviot and 
Blackball creeks in 1873, and at Half-ounce and Redman creeks m 1874. Henceforth 
the Chinese, who had appeared in considerable numbers in 1874, increasingly occupied 
the diggings in the Grey and Inangahua valleys, and with patience and industry worked 
for profitable return many a creek and fiat abandoned as too poor by the white 
digger. In 1879 alluvial mining in the vicinity of Reefton received a new impetus 
through Edward Carton's discovery of the rich deposits on a terrace of the creek 
to which the writer has given his name. This led to the reopening of Maori Gully 
and of the upper basin of Slab Hut Creek, and also indirectly to the working of 
much new ground in Burk Creek and Italian GuUy near Capleston. Another find 
of importance was reported in September of the same year by R. H. Wessels, who 
discovered the Barrytown lead, in which locality within a year more than three 
hundred men were at work. In December of 1880 Mcintosh and party found rich 
gold in Welshman Creek. Unlike the finds at Maori Gully and Barrytown, which 
maintained a large output for many years, this locality was soon almost deserted. 
A year or two later the wash in the limestone caves a mile to the north of 



19 

Inangahua Junction was being actively sluiced. In 1883 Slaty Creek in the Grey valley 
was worked ; and in 1888 John Gill discovered the auriferous wash of Shellback Creek, 
a locality which for many years supported a considerable number of miners, chiefly 
Chinese. Since then, however, no important new finds have been made, and the 
yield has been slowly and surely declining. Young men are no longer attiacted by 
the industry, which offers but a precarious livelihood, and from which the hope of sudden 
fortune has all but disappeared. Old men who followed the " rushes " in the early 
days, imable now to engage in a new occupation, eke out their pensions by getting 
a few ounces of gold in the back gullies, but the chief sources of alluvial gold are 
now sluicing claims and dredges. 

Even before the " eighties " the necessity of expending much capital without 
getting an immediate return was recognized. Large working -parties, often backed by 
storekeepers, were formed for the purpose of bringing in water-races to command other- 
wise unworkable ground. Notable examples were the large sluicing claims at one time 
operating in Soldier and Devil creeks, quite close to Reefton. Later, companies were 
registered for the same objects, and the yield of alluvial gold from such comparatively 
large concerns is now much greater than that from the small claims held by individual 
miners. 

One form of mining for detrital gold, which at one time promised greatly to 
increase the gold-yield and to prolong the life of the industry almost indefinitely, was 
dredging. This method of mining has one great advantage over others, in that it does 
not require the auriferous deposit to be un watered before exploitation. The first dredges 
had their stand on dry land, but the advantages of having the dredging-apparatus 
operated from a floating base were so obvious that the term " dredge " was soon 
restricted to such a machine. As early as 1883 .a primitive spoon-dredge, worked 
from the land, was used with considerable success on the river-beaches below Lyell, but 
there is no record as to how long this method of work was employed. The first 
pontoon bucket-dredge used in the subdivision was built in 1891 by the WhiteclifEs 
Company, and worked near Rocklands and Berlin's with poor results, while soon after 
starting the dredge was stranded and sold as a total wreck. Later this dredge, under 
different names and ownerships, worked on the BuUer from Inangahua Junction to 
Three-chamiel Flat with varjdng fortunes. In 1898 its then owners, who for some 
time had been working at considerable profit, disposed of their machine most advan- 
tageously. The great success attending some Otago dredges about this time led to a 
dredging boom, the effects of which extended to the West Coast, so that by the end 
of 1902 seven dredges had been built on the middle Buller (between Lyell and Berlin's), 
two on Boatman Creek, and ten in that portion of the Grey basin within the sub- 
division, and of these some were already disastrous failures. In later years seven or 
eight more were built, chiefly in the Grey valley. Of all the dredges which have 
worked within the subdivision, only three have paid back the capital expended 
in their erection. Many on liquidation of the original company were sold to working- 
parties for a fraction of their first cost, but even after such a drastic writing-down of 
capital some still did not pay wages to their owners. Since 1905 the number of dredges 
working in the subdivision has been steadily decreasing, and at the present time (Novem- 
ber, 1914) only iouv are in commission. It is proposed, however, to erect two more 
near the junction of Antonio Creek with the Mawheraiti. In this locality the Worksop 
dredge has been working for a number of years with conspicuous success. 

The rich alluvial gold of Murray and Lankey creeks was quickly traced to its 
immediate source in the basal conglomerate of the Miocene coal-measures, and in 1870 
batteries with wooden stamps shod with iron were at work at Cement Town, Murray 
Creek. The discovery of auriferous quartz lodes in the vicinity probably prevented the 

2*— Reefton. 



20 



full exploitation of tbe " cement " there and at Lankey's. In the early " eighties " 
an iron battery was erected in Lankey Creek to treat the auriferous conglomerate, but 
this venture was a failure. Attempts to work similar deposits at Capleston also appear 
to have met with but indifferent success. Nothing further seems to have been done 
for twenty years, when the Lankey Creek " cement " was again attacked, and was 
worked desultorily until acquired by Bolitho Bros, in 1905, since when it has been 
energetically worked with fair success. In 1912 a new find of " cement " was made 
on Globe Hill, and the deposit was partly developed by the Progress Mines, but work 
thereon was soon suspended. Early in 1915, however, a five-head battery driven by an 
oil-engine was erected in Oriental Creek by the above-named company, and material 
taken from the continuation of the deposit in this stream has been crushed, but with 
unpayable results. 

Lode-mining. 

The coarse hackly nature of the gold occurring in Moonlight Creek, and tlie quartz- 
fragments which often adhere to it, early induced the diggers to look for quartz lodes 
in this locality. Richly auriferous float quartz was quickly discovered, and a company 
was formed in Christchurch in 1870. An eight-head battery was erected and some ore 
was crushed, but the efforts made to discover the lode from which the shoad came 
failed, and operations ceased. 

It was not until 1870 that the lodes in the Reef ton district were discovered, where 
the first find was made by James Kelly near the head of Murray Creek. Other claims 
on the " line of reef " or lode-channel were quickly pegged out : indeed, the first appli- 
cation was by Fred Westfield, but this the Warden disallowed in favour of Kelly's. 
Other " lines " were prospected in quick succession. Thus, in October, 1870, James 
Anderson found auriferous quartz on the " line " that bears his name ; in November, 
J. G. Walshe located the Ajax Claim ; and shortly after Adam Smith found the Wealth 
of Nations. 

Two crushing plants had already been erected in 1870 for the treatment of the 
gold-bearing " cement " of Murray Creek, and at one of these in 1871 the first 80 tons 
of ore from " Kelly's Line " (Westfield's claim) was crushed. 

The difficulties of transport in those days were enormous, and it was not until 
1872 that efficient cru.shing - machines were at work. The order in which the early 
plants came into commission appears to have been as under : — • 



Machine. 


Number of 
Stamps. 


Power. 


Date of Starting. 


Ajax 

Westland 

Band of Hope 

Anderson's 

Wealth of Nations . . 

Energetic . . 


15 
15 
10 
15 
15 
10 


Steam 
Steam 
Water 
Water 
Water 
Water 


May, 1872. 
July, 1872. 
October, 1872. 
December, 1872. 
January, 1873. 
February, 1873. 



Extravagant expectations had been entertained, and the returns, although nowadays 
they would be considered on the whole most satisfactory, disappointed many of the 
investors ; and a return of 5 oz. per ton from a small crushing by the Just-in-Time 
was most opportune. This claim, located by James Clark, is situated at Boatman 
Creek, on a " line " or lode-channel usually known as Thompson's, but first prospected 
by Axel Topfer in January, 1872. February of that year also saw the discovery of 
the Big Blow at Rainy Creek by Adams Bros., while in the same month Joseph 



21 

Potter found the Caledonian at Larry Creek. In 1873 the banks established branches 
at Eeefton, which had hitherto been but a wayside stopping-place to Black's Point and 
Cement Town, the settlements at the foot and head of Murray Creek respectively. 

Next year a battery was erected at Colinton, as the township at the Caledonian 
Mine at Larry Creek was called, and another, a public crushuig or " customs " plant, 
at Crushhigton. In 1875 the Hopeful, Venus, and Keep-it-Dark began crushing, and 
for several years the whole district made steady progress, both in the amount of ore 
won and dividends paid. At this time the absence of arterial roads and the consequent 
high transport charges militated seriously against the advancement of the district. The 
usual charge on goods from Greymouth or Westport was £10 to £12 per ton, while in 
winter transport-costs were 50 per cent, higher, and after a few days' rain all deliveries 
ceased. In 1877 the main road up the BuUer from Westport to Reefton and Nelson 
was completed, while on the Grey valley road the bridging of the Ahaura, Big Grey, 
and Mawheraiti rivers was not finished till late in 1878. The cost of livuig was still 
further reduced in 1879 by the opening of a stock-track from Reefton to the Maruia 
Plain by way of the Inangahua and Rahu valleys. 

Meanwhile other claims became producers, the Rainy Creek in 1876 and the Golden 
Treasure in 1879. New Zealand went through a period of financial stringency in 1878, 
and more particularly 1879, and this depression was accentuated in Reefton by the 
temporary failure of some of the principal mines. Matters improved next year ; 
and a scheme which had been talked of for several years — namely, a low-level 
tunnel from Black's Point through the range to the Waitahu — ^was started. In 
this year also a track was opened to the head of the Big River. In 1881 rock-bormg 
machines were introduced by the Golden Fleece Company, which in the followmg year 
also obtained a diamond drill. The returns from the Welcome Claim, consistently 
rich for many years, led to great activity in the Boatman's district. As it was evident 
that this shoot of phenomenally high-grade ore would shortly leave the Welcome ground, 
two projects were initiated to tap it at greater depths — ^the Eureka incline and the 
Specimen Hill low-level tumiel. The Inkerman Company, which before this had had its ore 
crushed at the Rainy Creek battery, now erected a 30-head mill of its own, the largest 
and most complete crushing plant in the district. New Zealand at this time was enjoy- 
ing a period of prosperity, and this, combmed with the excellent returns from many of 
the properties at Reefton, brought about a minmg boom. The Big River, Merrijigs, 
Globe Hill, and Auld Creek areas now received attention. But although money was 
found for many legitimate propositions, a great deal was wasted on ventures obviously 
hopeless from the outset. Lr due time the penalty of overspeculation was paid, and 
the depression that followed was long-continued and severe. For several years the 
companies formed to work the lodes foimd during the boom were unsuccessful. Thus 
the Globe, formed in 1882, was on the verge of liquidation in 1886, when good ore was 
struck. The neighbouring Oriental Company was in worse case, for the claim had 
been sold for a trifling sum shortly prior to the discovery of the rich quartz in the 
claim just mentioned. This was later traced into the property, and worked by the 
Progress Company with conspicuous success for many years. During the summer of 
1887-88 the Merrijigs district came into great prominence, and several promismg ore- 
shoots were found, but the best claim, the Cumberland, was not discovered until 1890. 
In the later " eighties " the returns from the Boatman's mines greatly decreased, the 
gold-yield from the district being maintained by the Crushington lodes, and later by 
those of Devil Creek. The cyanide process was first used on the Reefton field in 1892. 
Before this many of the companies had allowed their tailings to be carried down the 
sludge-channels, the resultmg loss being represented by many hundred thousands of 
pounds. At first the new process was not an miqualified success, the antimony sulphide 



22 



contained in the ores seriously militating against satisfactory extraction, but in later 
years this difficulty was largely overcome. 

Table showing Annual Returns from the Quaetz Lodes of the Rbefton Subdivision. 



Year ended 


Ore crushed. 


Yield. 


Value. 


Calls. 


Dividends. 




Tons. 


Oz. 


£ s. 


d. 


£ s. 


d. 


£ s. d. 


March 31st, 1872 . 




10 


42 


163 











1873 . 




6,480 


6,737 


26,106 











1874 . 




16,223 


15,542 


59,968 


1 








1875 . 




22,310 


18,340 


71,067 









12,944 6 8 


1876 . 




33,064 


24,278 


94,077 









27,513 


1877 . 




33,969 


30,628 


118,684 









50,612 10 


1878 . 




41,947 


36,691 


142,178 





28,702 





63,608 6 8 


1879 . 




28,070 


26,023 


100,864 









22,465 


1880 . 




28,062 


18,090 


70,099 











1881 . 




25,926 


17,802 


68,541 11 





10,2i8 17 


6 


19,650 


1882 . 




14,894 


20,154 


77,844 16 


6 


25,054 3 


4 


37,643 15 


1883 . 




18,928 


19,194 


74,656 16 


9 


61,344 15 





32,600 


1884 . 




23,433 


16,547 


64,456 7 


5 


49,456 5 





16,500 


1885 . 




34,349 


23,997 


93,842 7 


1 


29,333 6 


8 


34,100 


1886 . 




27,198 


14,591 


56,622 9 





24,565 2 


1 


14,600 


1887 . 




23,930 


21,143 


83,170 15 


5 


21,596 6 


8 


33,450 


1888 . 




24,403 


16,775 


66,030 11 


5 


30,432 5 


10 


17,550 


1889 . 




28,565 


18,663 


72,720 18 





38,918 15 





16,687 10 


1890 . 




32,394 


17,780 


69,676 12 


1 


27,531 6 


8 


18,250 


1891 . 




39,787 


23,347 


91,998 8 


10 


20,404 3 


4 


27,325 


1892 . 




35,562 


23,390 


93,885 5 


1 


25,956 10 





30,743 


1893 . 




37,693 


20,171 


80,894 5 


1 


18,799 16 


10 


16,900 


1894 . 




34,518 


18,413 


73,752 14 


11 


14,360 





18,832 


1895 . 




26,603 


13,427 


53,. 509 5 


1 


10,153 6 


8 


11,012 10 


1896 . 




29,816 


16,604 


66,793 10 


6 


8,418 





25,925 


1897 . 




13,267 


8,365 


33,824 7 


1 


9,033 6 


8 


4,900 


1898 . 




9,751 


4,266 


18,253 7 


3 


7,859 3 


4 


50 


1899 . 




42,305 


21,488 


87,587 1 





5,920 6 


8 


900 


1900 . 




58,277 


26,693 


108,455 17 


8 


10,747 8 


9 


47,050 


1901 . 




82,618 


33,979 


134,557 7 


11 


5,824 9 


7 


35,300 


December 31st, 1901 . 




97,870 


46,067 


186,719 5 


7 


6,233 6 


8 


68,199 18 


1902 . 




98,485 


46,561 


188,655 2 


5 


6,900 





63,974 


1903 . 




109,571 


48,840 


195,468 16 


10 


4,587 





57,641 


1904 . 




117,380 


52,094 


204,472 IS' 10 


5,262 





54,674 


1905 . 




113,158 


46,211 


180,942 16 


7 


3,870 





55,343 


1906 . 




88,530 


40,990 


159,807 6 


11 


1,995 16 


8 


57,826 


1907 . 




95,542 


39,878 


1.53,242 1 


5 






39,175 


1908 . 




91,283 


39,601 


151,529 11 


8 








16,600 


1909 . 




101,127 


53,121 


201,971 


4 








43,955 


1910 . 




121,105 


59,792 


229,314 14 


10 








53,212 


1911 . 




126,067 


57,260 


222,839 17 


1 








50,696 


1912 , 




49,922 


28,004 


107,032 16 


4 








16,600 


1913 . 




116,813 


49,778 


194,300 3 


4 








26,900 


1914 . 




130,770 


57,865 


229,205 4 


6 








22,100 


1915 . 




132,250 


54,076 


217,559 10 


6 








24,999 


Totals 




2,464,225 


1,293,298 


5,077,341 16 


4 




1,277,806 16 4 



For the years 1872 and 1874-80 inclusive the value is estimated by the writer. 

In 1895 Mr. David Ziman, of Johannesburg, came to Eeefton and acquired a great 
number of claims, which later were taken over by the Consolidated Goldfields of New 
Zealand, a powerful corporation that still dominates mining in the Eeefton district. 
This company vigorously prospected its properties, a policy which soon bore abundant 
fruits. Modern methods were introduced, small claims were grouped, and, m spite of 
several unfortunate blunders of a class that indeed seem inherent to mining ventures, 
a satisfactory measure of success was achieved. In 1896 a group of mines in the 
Rainy Creek district was sold to an English company, and a great deal of money was 
expended in opening up the claims, but the developments were on the whole unsatisfactory, 
and after working for ten years the property was abandoned. 



23 

In December of 1896 an important find, was made in a portion of the district 
hitherto unprospected. William Kirwan discovered loose auriferous quartz over an 
area of more than 10 acres on high country between the head of Boatman Creek 
and the north branch of the Waitahu. From the nature and position of the quartz it 
was evident that it had not travelled far, and vigorous but unsuccessful efforts were 
made to locate the lodes of which it had once formed part. A battery was erected in 
1900, and until 1907 was regularly employed in crushing. In that year the loose 
quartz became exhausted, and although prospecting operations in this locality have 
continued without interruption up to the time of writing nothing of value has been 
disclosed. 

In November of 1905 William Martin, a member of a Government - subsidized 
party, made an important discovery in the basin of Blackwater Creek, in which 
locality years before the Snowy Creek Gold-mining Company had worked a lode 
without success. The claim, together with several other neighbouring areas, was 
finally acquired by the Blackwater Mines, a company that continues to exploit its 
property with success. Other claims in this locality are the Prohibition, Blackwater 
South, and Millerton, but these have not yet reached the producing stage. 

MINING AND TREATMENT METHODS. 

The uneven relief prevailing over the area in which the lodes are found nearly 
always has permitted the ore-bodies near the surface to be explored and extracted 
by means of adits. Later shafts are sunk, the sites for which are determmed by the 
data obtained in the adit - workings and by the configuration of the country. Vertical 
shafts are preferred, although incline shafts have been smak along the dip of the lode, 
the shape in both cases being rectangular. Timbering is always necessary, the box- 
set or lagging with Sin. by 6 in. timbers being generally employed in the older shafts, 
which are usually 9 ft. by 4 ft. in the clear. In 1896 the frame-set was introduced 
by the Consolidated Goldfields Company in the large shafts, 12 ft. by 4^ ft. in the 
clear, sunk by them. The general opinion seems to favour the shaft supported by 
box-sets, as giving less trouble and expense in maintenance. The mines are dry, 
and whatever water finds its way from the surface through the old workings is 
controlled by bailing, and in only one mine — ^the Caledonian — has the problem been 
serious. 

In the early mining days the levels projected from the shafts were 60 ft. apart, 
but the interval has gradually been extended mi til now it is usually about 150 ft. 
The drifts have just sufficient grade for drainage — say, a rise of 1 in 150— and 
require timbering, except where crossing solid greywacke or " sandstone " country. 
In size they are usually 5 ft. by 7 ft. in the clear, but where horse - traction is used 
these dimensions are slightly increased. The irregularity of the ore-deposits and the 
weakness of the walls permit of exploitation only by means of flat-backed stopes. 
The timbering of these, which is universally necessary, is effected, when the lode is 
5 ft. or less in width, by stuUs and caps and, in larger ore-bodies, by a modification 
of the square-set system. The timber is kept as close to the working-face as possible, 
and the walls are so treacherous and liable to swell that filling must be kept well 
up to the face ; indeed, it is considered bad practice to leave more than one 
stope open. 

Natural ventilation is sufficient, and much more care in the matter of the splitting of 
air-currents and the maintenance of return airways is now exercised than was the case 
a few years ago. A small Sirocco fan was installed at the Progress Mine some years 
ago, but its effect was not appreciable in the distant workings, being nullified by 
the choked and leaky condition of the main airways, and when these were attended 



24 

to the fan was found to be unnecessary. The ventilation of long adits is efiected 
by driving or exhausting the air through small galvanized-iron pipes by means of 
small fans, which are usually water-driven. At other times a water-blast or even 
only a jet is sufficient to effect the purpose. Small hand-power fans are still 
occasionally used for long levels underground, but the general use of compressed air 
in mines has greatly simplified this problem. 

On the 14th March, 1904,* three men were poisoned by sulphuretted-hydrogen 
gas liberated by water contaiaed in a winze in the Wealth of Nations Mine. The 
winze, which had been sunk four months previously, had partly filled with water ; 
and, on tapping this by a borehole from the rise below, the water, supersaturated 
• by pressure, gave off enough gas to render the air fatal to the men, who, on the 
first trickle being manifest, had evidently turned off the compressed air from the 
drill. At ordinary temperatures and pressures water dissolves from three to three and 
a half volumes of the gas, which according to J. D. Villarello| is fatal to human life 
when contained in air to the extent of 1-1 per cent., a proportion comparable with 
that obtained by Thenard.J On the 6th September, 1888,§ at the Inglewood Mine 
a gas-explosion led to a fatality, and there can be no doubt but that the admixture 
of sulphuretted hydrogen with air had produced the explosive charge. Other instances 
in which men have been overcome when engaged in bailing, though rare, are not 
unknown, and in a damp level the smell of sulphuretted hydrogen may often be 
detected on lifting an old sleeper. The gas is probably generated by the action of 
the sulphuric acid, produced by oxidation of the pyrites, on the sulphides contained 
in the ore and country rock, or it may arise from the action of decaying timber on 
sulphates contained in the water. Sulphuretted hydrogen readily decomposes, and 
it is probable that its presence in dangerous amount in the water filling old workmgs 
is a temporary phenomenon, and depends on an unusual combination of circumstances. 
Certainly, accumulations of water in old workings in the Reefton mines have been 
tapped on hundreds of occasions without the gas having been detected. 

The late John Trennery, then managing director of the Golden Fleece, was 
instrumental in introducing air-driven rock-drills to the field. This was in 1881, and 
soon other compressing plants were installed in connection with the Welcome Mine, 
Specimen Hill low level, Eureka incline, and Keep-it-Dark Mine. These early 
installations were not nearly so efficient as the modern compressor plants erected 
by the Consolidated Goldfields and its subsidiary companies, and were scrapped after 
a few years even by claims that continued to be successfully worked. Nowadays 
air-drills are used for all manner of work underground, hammer-drills being preferred 
for rising and stoping. 

At one time water-power, applied by means of big overshot wheels, was a favourite 
means of winding from shafts. This method was employed in the Caledonian, Fiery 
Cross, Just-in-Time, Wealth of Nations, Keep-it-Dark, Hercules, Globe, and Big River 
mines. As greater depth was attained and the amount of ore raised was increased 
the wheels were found to be too slow, and were discarded one by one in favour of 
steam plants. Occasionally compressed air was used for major winding operations. 
The old Progress Company hoisted from their underground shaft by this means for 
some years, but later brought in steam to the winch. The Consolidated Goldfields 
in their Golden Fleece Mine also used compressed air for winding, this installation 
being remarkable in that no receiver was employed, the two miles of piping between 

♦ C.-3, 1905, p. 18. 

t ViUarello, J. D. : " El Pozo de Petroleo de Dos Bocas." Parerg. Inst. Geo. de Mex., vol. Ill, 1909, 
No. 1, p. 48. Quoted in Economic Otology, vol. 10, 1915, No. 3, p. 215. 

% Roscoe and Scliorlemmer : Treatise on Chemistry, 1905, vol. 1, p. 382. 
§ C.-2, 1889, p. 118. 



25 

the compressor and the winch being a sufficient reservoir. Small air-winches are 
in common use in the mines for the hoisting of timber to the stopes, and of ore 
or rock from shafts and winzes. 

Where possible the treatment plant is placed close to the main outlet of the 
mine. Frequently, however, the mill is not, for economic reasons, placed near the 
mine, and the surface communication is effected by ground or aerial tramways or 
by a combination of both. Aerial transport has always been popular, although only 
two installations are now in use — namely, those at the Progress and Big Eiver mines. 
At the former a fixed-rope system with a locked-coil-carrying rope is used, while at 
the latter mine a single travelling rope is employed. The single travelling-rope system 
was also used in connection with the Kirwan's Reward, Venus, Scotia, Cumberland, 
Golden Lead, Croesus, and Garden Gully claims. The aerial method of transport is 
peculiarly adapted for the rugged topography obtaining in the Reefton Subdivision ; 
and it should be noted that in no instance has it failed mechanically, and, except in 
the case of the Big River and Scotia plants, where the difference in height of the 
terminals is not great, all the installations work or worked by the influence of gravity 
alone. At the Big River Mine a single horse supplies the additional requisite power. 

The metallurgical treatment that was in vogue in the Reefton field in the early 
days, though simple, was far from efficient. The ore was hand-fed to the mortars 
and crushed by slow-nmning light stamps, the pulp escaping through punched gratings 
of coarse mesh. Inside and plate amalgamation were practised. Rough concentration 
by means of ripples, blanket strakes, and square buddies, followed by the grinding 
of the concentrates with mercury in berdans, seems to have been in use at a very 
early date. Some few of the early battery-managers recognized that all the gold in 
the ore was not saved by this treatment, and stacked the tailings, which were 
nevertheless, in general, regarded as worthless. Their value, however, was convincingly 
demonstrated by the Wealth of Nations Company, the prospecting operations of which 
for sixteen years were paid for in great part by gold obtained from the regrinding of 
tailings. Even later than this, however, the amount of gold unsaved by amalgama- 
tion was not generally appreciated. 

In 1893 the Cassel Company erected an experimental cyanide plant at Capleston, 
but the amount of slimes and antimony sulphide contained in the tailings presented 
difficulties too great for the technical knowledge of that period. The first successful 
cyanide work was in connection with the accumulated tailings of the Big River and 
Cumberland mines in 1897-98. Since that date the cyaniding of sands has been general, 
and all accumulations of old tailings have now been treated. The great success 
attending the fine grinding of the ores of the Hauraki Goldfield induced the 
Consolidated Goldfields and Blackwater Mines companies to install tube mills, agitation - 
tanks, and slime-extraction plants. A better extraction was obtained, but the profit 
was less ; and the plants erected are not now used, with the exception of the tube 
mills, which are fed with coarsely crushed pulp from the stamp mortars. 

As already stated, the first attempts at concentration were very crude, and were 
effected by means of ripples, blanket strakes, and square buddies, the product in 
all cases being ground with mercury in berdans. In 1896 the Globe Company 
installed half a dozen Triumph concentrators, but the results were not encouraging, 
a fact probably due to bad adjustment of the machines, and their use was discontinued 
in the year after. The Progress Mines, the first of the Consolidated group to start 
crushing, had Frue vanners following the amalgamating-plates ; and the Likernuui 
was equipped with Union vanners ; but for the other mills of the district Wilflcx' 
tables have been adopted. A considerable proportion of the ore crushed is rodxicccl 
to slime, the heavy minerals in which are neither caught by the concentrators nor 



26 

settle in the cyanide-vats. To save them, the overflow from the vats is made to 
pass in a thin film over a wide surface of gently inclined tables, made either of 
cement or of wood covered with canvas. By this means a concentrate is caught on 
the table, and is washed off several times a day, and allowed to settle in slime-pits. 
This method of gold-saving was first tried in 1898 by the Progress Mines, which 
company later also installed a Wilfley slime- concentrator, but found it much less 
satisfactory than the tables. 

The earliest method of treating the concentrates consisted of grinding them with 
mercury in a berdan. Sometimes the sulphides were subjected to a rough roast, and 
various chemicals were added to improve amalgamation ; while the more efficient grinder, 
the Eraser pan, was also tried in place of the berdan. In no case, however, were the 
results satisfactory. Jii 1899 the Progress Mines erected a roasting-furnace and 
chlorination plant, and for many years treated their concentrate by this method, 
while the other mines of the district shipped their product to Australian smelters. 
Owing to the amount of arsenic and antimony in the Reefton ores the chlorination 
process was not an unqualified success, the residue after treatment still containing 
about 30 dwt. of gold per ton. After exhaustive experiments in England it was 
decided to adopt a matte-smelting process, by which the many thousands of tons of 
chlorination residue stacked at the mill would be used as a fiux to assist in the treat- 
ment of its current product. A Merton mechanical roasting-furnace and a reverberatory 
were erected, while the old chlorination furnace was converted into chambers for the 
condensation of the arsenical and antimonial fumes. The concentrate was partly roasted, 
and the charge to the reverberatory consisted of a mixture of roasted concentrate 
and slime, chlorination residue, and crushed limestone, together with a small amount 
of cupriferous concentrate* or matte from a previous smelting. A copper matte or 
speiss containing the whole of the gold resulted ; and this was recrushed and charged 
again to the furnace until the gold-content had reached a dangerous degree of concen- 
tration, when the matte, which should then have contained the whole of the gold 
and copper added, was sent to Australia for final treatment. Although theoretically 
this process is feasible, it failed commercially, owing, at least in part, to the absorption 
of copper and gold by the hearth, f and the furnace was shut down after a brief 
campaign. At the present time all the mines ship their concentrates to smelting plants 
in Australia ; in the case of the Progress Mines after a preliminary roasting, by which 
part of the sulphur, arsenic, and antimony are eliminated, and the transport and 
smelting charges thereby reduced. It must also be recorded that various attempts have 
been made to treat the concentrates by sliming and cyanidation, but these have all 
had to be abandoned. 

At the present time the treatment of the ore is not materially different at the 
various mills, and follows the practice in vogue in other mining districts where ore 
of a similar nature is worked. The operations may be briefly described as follows : The 
ore from the mine is dumped on grizzlies, the fine material falling directly into the 
bins, and the coarse being broken by jaw-crushers before doing so. From the bins 
the ore passes by way of self-feeders to the mortars, which may or may not be fitted 
with chuck-blocks. At the Blackwater and Wealth of Nations mills the ore is crushed 
coarsely, the reduction to pulp of the requisite fineness being completed in tube mills. 
In these cases inside amalgamation is not practised, and there is a tendency through- 
out the district to employ only plate-amalgamation even where the mortar-screens are 
of the usual 15-mesh size. The pulp is then passed, first, over amalgamated copper 
plates and then over concentrators. At this point the pulp has nearly always to be 

* Obtained from Aniseed Valley Copper-mine (Nelson), and containing about 10 per cent, of copper. 
t The hearth when broken up is reported to have yielded over £9,000 in gold. 



27 

elevated, wheels being used ; it is then classified in V boxes, and conducted to the 
cyanide plant. In some cases the sand is collected in| settling-vats, from which it is 
trucked to the treatment-tanks ; m others the sand goes direct to the treatment-tanks, 
where revolving distributers are used, and the separation of the slime aided by forcing 
in water or compressed air below the filter-bed. Treatment lasts about a week, the 
advantages accruing from turning the sand bemg recognized. The slime from the 
V boxes and vats is conducted to the slimes plant, from which it runs generally to 
waste, although at some of the mills (Progress and Wealth of Nations) a considerable 
proportion is collected by settling in dams. The accompanying table shows the results 
attained by this method of treatment. The percentage of extraction varies cons'der- 
ably in total amount, and also in the proportion saved by each process. It should 
also be noted that the ordinary table concentrates contain from 4 oz. to 6 oz. of gold 
per ton, while the slime concentrates contain rather more than half these quantities. 



Progress.' 



Wealth of 
Nations.* 





^ 


-M- 




■t;-^ 


C P 


Blackwater.* 




u 




M 


o 



coo 

; 4 






Gold-content of ore by assay per ton 
Percentage recovered|l 

By amalgamation 

By cyanidation 

By concentration 
Percentage not recovered] I 

In cyanide residues 

In slimes 
Percentage of product recovered by 
amalgamation^ 

By cyanidation|[ 

By concentration^ 
Percentage of pulp cyanided^ 
Percentage of concentrate saved 
from oref^ 



•325 dwt. 
78-99 
5344 
12-50 
13-05 
23-36 
6-25 
17-11 
67-50 

16-00 

16-50 

67-60 

119 



•804 dwt 

86-12 

63-74 

19-18 

3-19 



74-00 

22-00 
4-00 

64-20 
0-62 



10699 dwt. 
89-42 
73-62 

8-30 
7-50 
9-57 
4-07 
5-50 
82-30 

9-30 

8-40 

56-30 

1-03 



64-00 

27-00 
9-00 



81-00 

12-00 

7-00 

67-70 



69-00 

21-00 
10-00 
72-20 



*From annual report of company for 1914. f Mines Report, C.-3, 1906, p. 50 (estimate only). 

%lbid., p. 45. § Mines Report C.-3. 1905, p. 94. II The discrepancies between these sets of figures 

are due to unavoidable errors in the sampling and measurement of ore, residues, &c. ^The figures for 
the Big River are respectively 83, 12-5, 4-5, 85, and 1-34. 



The Keefton district as a gold-mining centre owes much to its timber, coal, and 
water supplies. Had the lodes of this area occurred in a treeless region it is certain 
that they would not have been worked to the same extent, and it behoves all those 
interested in mining in this district to conserve the by no means inexhaustible timber 
resources. For winding purposes steam is now universally employed, and the numerous 
patches of coal-bearing rock distributed over the area containing the lodes have proved 
of great value. Wood at one time was largely used in boilers, and still is to some 
extent at the Blackwater Mine. All the batteries at present working use water-power : 
that at the Blackwater having a supplementary suction-gas plant for use during periods 
of scanty rainfall. In the past several of the mills now idle were driven by steam 
plants, and that of the Murray Creek Mines is also to be so operated. 

In conclusion it should be stated, in connection with the mining and milling 
practices, that Reefton is a comparatively old field, and the equipment of some of 
the mines and the methods employed are inclined to be obsolete. There is a natural 
tendency to ignore the experience of other mining districts in the requirements necessary 
to ensure economical mining, and to rely on methods that have proved successful on the 



28 

Reefton field. Such conservatism is right and proper when based on sound premises. 
The few incline shafts of the Reefton district have been sunk on the dip of the 
veins, and these have proved decidedly more difficult to maintain than the vertical 
shafts. For this reason all the main shafts are now of the latter type. On the other 
hand, the underground workings have shown that all the ore-shoots have a pitch to 
the north, and this in combination with the dip quickly alters the position of the ore- 
bodies in plan. Moreover, experience in other parts of the world — notably, in Cali- 
fornia, where the conditions approximate those prevailing at Reefton, and in the 
Transvaal, where they are altogether different — ^has proved that no insuperable difficulties 
exist in respect to the construction, maintenance, and working of incline shafts. The 
future of lode-mining in the Reefton district depends in great measure on the deep 
levels of the mines already proved, and even now the cost of the long crosscuts 
at each level is becoming onerous. An intelligent anticipation of the course of the 
ore-shoot is now possible, and incline shafts are certainly advisable. These, to be of 
the greatest service, should be placed some distance — say, 100 ft. — ^in the foot-wall of 
the lode, and should maintain the same relative position to the ore-shoot throughout. 
In South Africa some of the deep mines are approached by composite shafts ; but it is 
doubtful if the existing vertical shafts could be converted to this type, and if inclmed 
shafts are to be connected with them electrical winding plants are desirable in view 
of the inefficiency of winding by compressed air. The most convenient method of 
hoisting in incline shafts is by means of skips, and these could also be used in vertical 
shafts with advantage, and would materially increase their capacity. If considered 
necessary, swinging-guides could be provided on the poppet-heads to facilitate the- 
interchanging of cage and skip. In connection with the use of electrical power there 
is little doubt but that the adoption of this flexible method of power-transmission 
from a central plant, with prime movers driven either by steam, gas, or water, would 
be conducive to economy ; while if a successful electrical rock-drill were placed on the 
market the advantages accruing would probably lead to the scrapping of all the 
present compressing plants. 

LABOUR CONDITIONS. 

In the days of the first gold " rushes " each man either was an independent unit 
workmg alone or formed one of a party, with an interest equal to that of his mates. 
Frequently the individiral or party had a storekeeper as sleeping-partner, who supplied 
stores up to a certain amount in lieu of labour. At other times, especially after the 
lapse of a few years, when it became possible to hire labour, the non-working partner 
paid a man to take his place. These partnership methods naturally were applied to 
the quartz claims when they were first prospected. When the mining operations neces- 
sary were beyond the capacity of the individuals or parties, and companies were formed 
to undertake them, the working-miner generally held scrip in the company controlling 
the claim on which he worked. This system of profit-sharing, although it led to many 
grave abuses when numerous small companies were at work, was undoubtedly a prime 
factor in preventing labour troubles. As far as the writer could ascertain, the only 
serious unrest during the last century occurred in 1875, when the mining companies, at 
a time when prospects looked very bad, reduced wages from £3 10s. to £3 per week, 
an alteration that did not continue long. 

The Consolidated Goldfields of New Zealand started operations in the Reefton 
district in 1896, and, finding the local supply of labour insufficient for their needs, 
induced many miners to come from Australia. About this period also the "West 
Australian and, to a less extent, the Hauraki mines absorbed a great deal of skilled 
labour ; and these fields, although now past their zenith, still maintain great mining 
populations. In addition to this, Australasia as a whole, in common with the rest of 



29 

the world, has during the past twenty years enjoyed prosperity hitherto unexampled. 
All these factors operate in the same direction, and have tended to decrease the amount 
of labour available for the mines ; and it is owing to the inevitable adjustments in the 
price to be paid for it and in the conditions under which it is performed that indus- 
trial disagreements have arisen. Of these disputes the strike of 1912 was much the 
most serious, involving as it did all the mines of the Consolidated group. The osten- 
sible reason for this trouble was the attempt to introduce the Waugh hammer-drill, 
which the management contended required only one man to work, whilst the miners, 
on the other hand, considered two men necessary. The underlying principle involved, 
however, was the right of open contract desired by the owners, some time previously 
the miners' union having taken upon itself the fixing of the prices for all contracts. 
Finally, after eight months, a compromise was arranged whereby the union agreed not to 
interfere in the matter of contracting, while the mine-owners agreed to work hammer 
as well as other air drills with two men. 

In common with other industries, mining is now called upon to pay its workmen 
decidedly higher wages than those current a dozen years ago. According to the Inanga- 
hua Gold-miners' award that came into force on the 17th November, 1913, the miner 
receives lis. per shift of eight hours, and the trucker gets 10s., while a few years ago 
these rates were respectively 9s. 6d. and 8s. As far as possible work is done by con- 
tract, and this is universally the case in development, where the scope of the work 
required can be clearly defined. In stoping, however, the system is open to serious 
objections owing to the irregular shape of the ore-bodies and the flaky nature of their 
walls. Nevertheless, a good deal of the ore is so broken. The wages per shift 
earned by contractors in three of the principal mines during 1914 were as follows* : — 

Wealth of Nations. Progress. Blackwater. 

s. d. s. d. s. d. 

Development contracts . . . . 15 11 17 826 17 3-60 

Stopmg contracts . . . . 16 11 18 5-93 17 3-28 

* This and the other information following is taken from the 1914 annual reports of these companies. 



MINING AND TREATMENT COSTS. 

The only detailed cost-sheets available to the writer are those of the Blackwater, 
Progress, and Wealth of Nations mines, and the following tables are compiled from their 
annual reports for the year 1914 : — 

Development-costs. 



Mines. 


Labour and 


Ex- 


Timber. 


Sundry 


Com- 


TTr»l<jt.in(T 


Mis- 


Total Cost 




Salaries. 


plosives. 




stores. pressor. 


XX UU) 1>111U. 


ceilaneous. 


per Foot. 


Blackwater — 


S. 


d. 


s. d. 


s. d. 


s. d. 


s. 


d. 


s. d. 


s. 


d. 


S. d. 


Driving (2,124 ft.) 


30 


1-69 


2 6-96 


3 3-91 


2 0-30 


2 


8-91 


3 7-88 


3 


7-84 


48 1-49 


Crosscutting (650 ft.) 


22 


1-34 


3 1-80 






2 


3-79 


3 11-64 5 


11-55 


37 6-12 


Rising (1,151 ft.) 


28 


5-35 


2 1-22 


5 ' 0-17 


1 9-90 


4 


8-87 


2 5-83 3 


2-47 


47 9-81 


Progress — 






















Driving (2,764 ft.) 


31 


9-84 


4 8-65 


4 6-70 


2 10-45 


1 


9-38 


.. i 8 


6-37 


54 3-39 


Crosscutting (2,404 ft.) . . 


31 


0-05 


4 4-20 


3 4-89 


3 5-87 


1 


9-65 




6 


5-95 


50 6-61 


Rising (1,059 ft.) 


30 


6-88 


4 0-78 


7 0-83 


4 2-27 


5 


1-12 




6 


11-14 


57 11-02 


Winzing (42 ft.) 


103 


1115 


15 5-79 


14 6-52 


1 2-97 


7 


5-72 




26 


11-19 


169 7-34 


Diamond driUing (955 ft.) 


5 


2-35 






5 6-99 


1 


3-54 







3-42 


12 4-30 


Wealth of Nations- 
























Driving (1,269 ft.) 


34 


5-66 


4 8-53 


4 2-31 


2 8-72 


3 


4-14 


.. i 11 


5-41 


60 10-77 


Crosscutting (883 ft.) 


33 


5-70 


4 614 


1 8-01 


3 11-33 


2 


6-80 




8 


0-26 


54 2-24 


Rising (1,297 ft.) 


33 


8-02 


2 10-90 


8 8-76 


4 3-67 


3 


10-91 




8 


1-30 


61 7-56 


Winzing (44 ft.) 


62 


10-16 


6 4-20 


10 6-59 


4 4-63 


7 


0-83 




19 


015 


109 2-56 



These costs are between 60 and 70 per cent, more than those of a dozen years ago. 



30 



For the same year tlie mining and treatment costs were as follows :- 

Mtntng-costs. 



Blaokwater 
(49,070 Tons). 



Progress 
(29,860 Tons). 



Wealth of Nations 
(23,971 Tons). 



Ore-extraction- — 


s. d. 


s. d. 


s. d. 


Labour and salaries 






8 643 


7 1-03 


5 8-20 


Explosives 






5-38 


3-42 


2-56 


Timber 






1 5-31 


1 1-38 


1 0-58 


Compressor 






9-38 


4-10 


3-00 


Miscellaneous . . 






10-01 


9-39 


1 0-59 


Hoisting 






1 6-24 


1 7-59 


1 11-79 


Transportation . . 






6-26 


1 2-57 


7-24 


Maintenance 






11-24 


11-67 


1 6-27 


Pumping and bailing 






4-27 


1-28 


0-58 








15 4-52 


13 6-43 


12 4-81 



Teeatment-costs (pee Ton milled). 





Blaokwater 
(60,426 Tons). 


Progress 
(31,150 Tons). 


Wealth of Nations. 
(25,470 Tons). 




s. d. 


s. d. 


s. d. 


Ore-transport 
Rock-breaking 






1-26 
1-36 


1-54 


1-77 


Stamp milling 
Tube milling 






1 4-83 
3-14 


1 7-36 


2 4-99 


Concentrating 






1-59 


6-24 


1-43 


Quantity collected 
Cyaniding 

Quantity treated 
Retreatment of old tailings 






(518 tons) 

1 2-92 

(28,399 tons) 


(395 tons) 

1 0-18 

(17,020 tons) 

6-61 


(150 tons) 

1 3-49 

(16,361 tons) 


Accumulating slimes 




0-03 


0-09 


0-90 








3 3-13 


3 10-02 


4 0-58 



These costs, together with bullion charges and general expenses, which include 
insurance, rates, and rents, make up total working-costs as under : — 



i 



Mining-costs 
Treatment-costs 
General expenses 
Bullion charges 



Total Working-costs per Ton. 



Blacl 

s. 

15 


swater. 

d. 

4-98 


Progress. 

s. d. 

13 6-08 


Wealth of Nations 
s. d. 

12 5-42 


3 


3-13 


3 10-02 


4 0-58 


2 


2-14 


1 11-07 


1 11-88 





9-97 


7-08 


8-66 



21 8- 



19 10-25 19 2-54 

Working-costs* for 1904 — Progress, 17s. 4-64d. ; Wealth of Nations, 16s. 4-89d. 

The rise in the working-costs in ten years is due chiefly to the increased price of 
labour and, to a less degree, to that of materials. It should be noted that the enhanc- 
ing of the costs would have been even more marked but for the reorganization of the 
methods of working that has taken place in recent years. 



* Mines Report, 1905, C.-3, p. 93. 



31 

FINANCIAL AND OTHER CONDITIONS. 

All the lode-mining hitherto undertaken in the Reefton Subdivision has been on 
Crown land, for which privilege an annual rental of 7s. 6d. per acre is paid, with, 
however, a substantial reduction for the first two years. What are known as prospect- 
ing licenses cost only Is. per acre per year, and do not need to be surveyed. The 
Warden has much discretionary power as to the enforcement of the labour conditions 
of a lease, and iii a general way this power has been exercised with moderation and 
judgment. The individual alluvial miner's only legal responsibility is the possession 
of a miner's right, which costs 5s. per year. 

Local rates, varying from 3|d. to 4d. in the pound of the capital value of 
each claim, go to the County Council for the maintenance of roads, &c. Each ounce 
of gold won from the mines also bears a tax of 3d., which is paid to the Gold-miners' 
Eelief Fund. 

In the early days of lode-mining the conditions for the granting of claims were 
similar to those obtaining in alluvial mining. Thus the claims were small, not exceeding 
4J acres in area. It was soon recognized, however, that more ground was necessary 
to give a chance of repayment of the investor's heavy expenditure, and the area of the 
claim was increased to a maximum of 16| acres. This size of holding was later 
increased to 30 acres, and still later to 100 acres. Groups of adjacent claims may be 
held by the same owner, provided the labour conditions are complied with in the aggre- 
gate. All the large companies operating in the district hold considerable areas (up to 
800 acres) in order to protect themselves against the vagaries of the ore-bodies. 

Coal-mining. 

Although there is no record of the fact, the prominent coal-outcrops of Murray 
and Lankey valleys must have been noted by the earliest alluvial diggers. The first 
coal mined in the district was probably won from the Murray Creek deposits for the 
Ajax power plant, and other coal-mines were opened as fuel became necessary in con- 
nection with lode-mining. The distribution of the patches of coal-bearing strata is very 
convenient for the various quartz-mines, a fact that has had a most important influence 
on the development of the district, and the history of many of the coalpits may be 
inferred from that of the lode-mines they supplied. At this time each gold-mine had its 
own coal claim, and these in consequence were not developed systematically. The 
Durham Mine, situated in the basin of Burke Creek, seems to have been the first 
opened exclusively to satisfy household requirements. This mine appears to have had 
a very short life, and for many years the domestic supplies were drawn from the mines 
at Murray, Lankey, and Devil creeks. 

During the time of the dredging boom several pits were opened on the seams 
outcropping at various points near the Buller River from Three-channel Flat to Berlin's. 
These were entirely dependent upon local requirements, and as the demand ceased when 
the dredges were shut down they also were abandoned. The Whitecliffs Mine, how- 
ever, is still worked occasionally. The dredges of the Boatman Creek basin have 
greatly stimulated production from the two coal-mines situated there, while in another 
part of the subdivision the coal of Moonlight Creek was attacked to supply fuel to a 
dredge in that locality. At the present time the Murray Creek and the Burke Creek 
groups of mines produce the bulk of the coal used in Reefton, the pits at Deep Creek, 
Merrijigs, and Capleston being worked chiefly inl connection with the power requirements 
of gold-mines and dredges. 

So far no attempt has been made to develop the seams of the subdivision in a 
large way. A little coal is, and has been for many years, railed to Greymouth and 
Hokitika, where its reputation as a household fuel stands high. 



32 

METHODS OF WORKING. 

Throughout the Reefton Subdivision the general method of winning coal is by bord- 
and-pillar workings, the pillars being later removed as far as possible. There is no 
large systematically worked colliery in the district, and no standard dimensions for 
bord or pillar are observed, the size of these depending on local conditions. At Murray 
Creek and at Merrijigs, where the cover of the coal is not great, a considerable 
tonnage has been won from open workings. Again, where the coal-seams have a 
very steep dip, as at the now abandoned mines of Three-channel Plat and Rainy Creek, 
the coal was won by a modification of the long-wall system, the method being devised 
by quartz-miners accustomed to stoping. 

In the early days, before the appointment of an Inspector of Mines, the under- 
ground workings of the small coalpits in the neighbourhood of Reefton were very 
irregular and often dangerous. Thus Mr. G. J. Binns* states, " The system of working, 
which is noted as ' bord-and-pillar, ' by no means as a rule deserves the name, most of 
the mines being worked on any or no principle, the main object apparently being 
to get some coal as cheaply as possible, let the roof fall in, and start somewhere else." 

Naked lights are used, and fire-damp has been reported on two occasions only, 
at Murray Creekf and at the Progress Coal-mine.J Doubtless the absence of gas is 
due to the thinness of the cover beneath which the seams have hitherto been worked, 
and when the seams underlying the gravels of the valley are attacked the usual pre- 
cautions will need to be taken. 

Timber Industry. 

In the Mawheraiti valley are three large sawmills — ^that at Ikamatua owned by the 
Ikamatua Sawmilling Company, that at Hukarere by Stratford and Blair, and that 
at Mawheraiti by Perotti Bros. These mills are chiefly concerned with the export 
trade by way of the port of Greymouth, and Perotti Bros, also supply much of the 
timber used in Reefton. In the Inangahua valley the only mill in constant operation 
is that of Lockington Bros., which draws its timber from the Burke Creek flats. A 
very large proportion of the sawn timber required by the mines is cut by this plant, 
which in addition satisfies, in part, the demands of the local building trade. De 
Pilippi's mill, situated about a mile from Three-channel Flat, is only intermittently 
employed. Other small privately owned concerns are placed one near the road-crossing 
at Landing Creek, one near the railway just south of Larry Creek, and another on 
the Deep Creek saddle on the road to Big River. In addition the Progress, Black- 
water, and Big River mines have small plants, while, near Barrytown, White and McKay 
cut planking for flumes and tables at their own mill. 

A considerable number of men are engaged in contract work, supplying rough mining- 
timber to the quartz-mines. In the forests close to the long-worked mines suitable 
trees are now very scarce. Thus the Crushington mines draw their supplies from the 
flats ten miles up the Inangahua, while the Progress Mines obtain the necessary material 
from the lower valley of Devil Creek, at a constantly increasing cost. The Big River 
Mine is situated on the high plateau country where the bush is poor, and, as wood was 
burnt under the boilers for many years, the upper valley of the Big River is now practi- 
cally denuded of accessible trees ; and this company was forced to construct an expensive 
adit from the Deep Creek basin, where crushed coal is mined and a limited supply of 
timber exists. The Blackwater Mine is in a much more favourable position as far as 
timber is concerned than any other large quartz-mine. Sleeper-cutting has for many 

* H.-18, 1880, p. 13. t Mines Report, 1888, C.-4, p. 5. f Mines Keport, 1892, C.-3b, p. 7. 



33 

years provided employment for a considerable number of men, but this branch of the 
timber industry is now declining, and practically all the existing silver-pine bush has 
already been worked. 

The principal timber-tree is the rimu or red-pine, and this is far more abundant 
in the Mawheraiti valley than in that of the Inangahua. Very large amounts of this 
timber are still available in the subdivision, but the readily accessible supplies growing 
on the flood-plains and terraces of the Grey valley are rapidly approaching exhaustion, 
and will probably be cut out in two or three years. Other even more valuable timber- 
trees are the totara and black-pine, but these are not at all abundant. The white- 
pine is fairly common on the low swampy flats where the land is rich, but is now 
practically cut out. The beech {Fagus fusca) — known locally as the black or brown 
birch — ^is very common, generally occupying soil too poor to be tolerated by any of 
the pines. It is extremely abundant in the Inangahua valley ; and much of the bush 
on the Reefton hills is composed exclusively of this species, which also forms the forest 
of the lower flanks of the mountains. The sawmiller gets a better price for lumber cut 
from this tree than from the red-pine ; but the logs are so full of shakes and flaws, 
and boards cut from sound timber are so liable to split when nailed, that it is rarely 
used save as large timber. In the mines, on account of its strength and durability, 
it is preferred to all other woods. The silver-pine, of which the habitat is the swampy 
terraces and plateaux, is eagerly sought by sleeper-cutters. To avoid waste the logs are 
usually sawn, but the smaller sticks are hewn, the excellent working-qualities of the 
timber making this an easy matter. It should be noted that trees growing on very 
swampy land are much more likely to exhibit " ring shakes " — ^that is, shakes coincident 
with the rings of growth — than those standing on drier ground. On the mountain- 
flanks there is a considerable amount of totara {Podocarpus Hallii), which, though 
neither so large nor so durable as the true totara {Podocarpus totara), may yet be 
found of great value. 

Other Primary Industries. 

The other primary industries include agriculture, dairying, grazing, flax-milling 
{Phormium tenax), lime-burning, and brickmaking. The last two, however, must be 
considered in the nature more of experiments than of permanent industries. In regard 
to flax-milling, the only plant in operation in the area examined is situated at Barry- 
town, where great areas of flax-covered swamp exist. New Zealand flax is also cut at 
several other places, and railed to mills beyond the boundary of the subdivision. 

The land up to the present found worth cultivation does not form a large pro- 
portion of the whole area of the district. The rainfall is so abundant that only those 
lands that are readily drained — ^that is, those on hill-slopes or on flats of which the 
subsoil is permeable gravel — can be utilized. In regard to the former, only the gentler 
slopes can retain sufficient soil for more than a most scanty growth of grass, while 
the latter is confined to the flood-plains and lower terraces of the larger streams, since 
the higher terraces are underlain by an impervious hard pan. Extensive areas in 
the Grey, Mawheraiti, and Inangahua valleys are either devoid of bush or covered 
by a readily destroyed growth of scrub. These pakihis, however, are still largely in 
their natural condition, and no commercially practical method of dewatering them has 
yet been devised. 

The largest patch of arable land is at Totara Flat, but considerable areas occur 
along the courses of all the rivers. The principal products grown are oats and root 
crops, but the methods in use are, generally speaking, decidedly primitive. Of late 
years dairying has come into prominence, and a butter-factory that draws its supplies 
from the Grey and Inangahua valleys has been in operatio!i at Cronadun for about 

3 — Beef coQ . 



34 

ten years. The settlers at Brighton send their cream to a factory formerly at Charles- 
ton, but lately shifted to Westport, while those at Barrj^town in the spring of 1914 
were taking steps to establish another at that township. The climate of the inland 
valley is decidedly more severe than that of the successful dairying districts of the 
North Island ; and, until more attention is devoted to providing nutritious winter 
feed, results comparable with those of other parts of New Zealand cannot possibly be 
achieved. Cattle-raising is one of the chief branches of farming followed at the present 
time, while sheep-farming is but little practised. At no time in. the history of the 
West Coast has the demand for foodstuffs been satisfied by the local supply, and there 
appears to be little hope of this condition ever being reached. 



35 



CHAPTEE III. 



PHYSIOGEAPHY. 



General Features 

Mountains 

Plateaux and Hills 

Rivers 

The Coastal System 
The Buller System 
The Grey System 

The Lowlands 

The Coast 

Tarns, Lagoons, Swamps, 

Springs 

Caves 



Sinkholes, &c. 



Page. 
. 35 
. 35 
. 36 
. 37 
. 37 
. 38 
. 40 
. 41 
. 42 
43 
44 
45 



Page. 



Correlation of the Wave - formed Terraces 
of the Sea-front with the River-formed 
Terraces of the Inland Depressions . . 

Rejuvenation Effects connected with the 
Present Standstill . . 

Rejuvenation Effects connected with the 
Standstill at the 80 ft. Strand-line 

Rejuvenation Effects connected with the 
Standstill at the 200 ft. Strand-line . . 

Rejuvenation Effects connected with the 
Standstill at the 600 ft. Strand-line . . 

Conclusion . . 
Alterations in Drainage 



46 
46 

47 

48 

49 
49 
51 



GENERAL FEATURES. 
The Reefton Subdivision presents physiograpMcal features of great variety and interest. 
A rugged mountain-chain with peaks rising well over 5,000 ft. bounds the district to 
the eastward, while another great range traverses its western portion meridionally. 
Between lies a wide structural valley, on the floor of which the mountain-streams 
unite to form rivers which flow north and south to join the two largest drainage- 
systems of the West Coast. Terraces, sometimes extensive enough to earn the local 
name of plains, occupy a great part of the valley. Near its main water-parting the soft 
strata that form its floor have been sculptured by subaerial denudation into low 
broken hills. Another area of low but decidedly broken country lies between the 
western mountains and the sea. Along the shore-line for miles the waves bank up 
sand and gravel, forming the beaches and littoral swamps of a narrow interrupted 
coastal plain. At other places the sea is actively cutting back the land, and there 
the coast is bordered by high vertical walls or steep rugged slopes, according to the 
nature of the rocks, 

MOUNTAINS. 

The Paparoa Mountains, which occupy a large area in the western portion of 
the subdivision, extend north and south beyond the limits of the area examined. 
Longitudinal valleys divide the mountains into roughly parallel ridges that run in a 
general north -north-east direction. Although these ridges are not placed in exact 
alignment, it is possible to group them into three more or less coherent chains. The 
western chain, terminating at its northern end in the Buckland Peaks, is continued 
beyond the Waitakere as the Lochnagar Range that stretches south beyond the limits 
of the subdivision. Mount Faraday (4,800 ft.) belongs to the northern section of the 
range ; but in mounts Cavendish, Priestley (4,660 ft.), Dewar, Ramsay (4,630 ft.), and 
Lodge (4,760 ft.) the Lochnagar Range has heights of a similar order. Southward 
the peaks are lower, as Mount Pecksniff (4,250 ft.), The White Knight, Mount Hawera 
(3,890 ft.), Croesus Knob (3,940 ft.), and Mount Leitch (3,780 ft.). The central chain 
is divided from the western in the north by the long valley of the Ohikanui, and 
in the south by those of the Gordon and Upper Freeth. Its highest peak is Mount 
Uriah (4,925 ft.), while farther south are Moimt Micawber (4,835 ft.), The Pinnacle 
(4,620 ft.), and, across the gorge of the Gordon, Mount Johnston (3,950 ft.). 

The eastern chain, separated from the central by the valleys of the Blackwater, 
Te Wharau, and Otututu rivers, is itself divided imperfect.ly by the valley of the 
3*— Reefton. 



36 

Whitefoord and a depression crossing the heads of the Maimai and Giles streams. 
Notable peaks are mounts Stevenson (4,585 ft.), Epping (4,700 ft.), Wise (4,195 ft.), 
McHardy (4,196 ft.), and Raoulia (4,400 ft.). 

The Victoria and Bninner mountains form the eastern boundary of the subdivision. 
Like the Paparoa Range, these highlands may be divided into parallel chains, and 
this is so obviously the case that the Brunner Range is popularly separated from the 
main mass of the mountains. From the lowlands this range has the appearance 
of a long continuous ridge stretching from the Buller River south as far as Larry 
Creek. Prominent heights are Boundary Peak (4,040 ft.*), Mount Curtis (4,600 ft.). 
Mount Wynn (4,635 ft.), Bourke's Rocks (4,282 ft.), and, south of Larry Creek, 
Conical Hill (3,430 ft.). 

Separated from the Brunner Range by the valleys of Little Deepdale, Revell, 
and Drysdale streams is a range which may be called the Kirwan Range, from Mount 
Kirwan (4,247 ft.), its best-known peak. Across Bateman Creek is Trigonometrical 
Station J (4,081 ft.), and beyond the head of Larry Creek are mounts Ossa and 
Pelion (4,927 ft.). 

Victoria Range proper lies to the eastward of the subsidiary ranges just described, 
and enters only the south-eastern corner of the subdivision. The southern continuation 
of this chain across the Grey River is known as the Werner Range. Notable peaks 
within the subdivision are mounts Albert (5,069 ft.), Ross (4,974 ft.), and Gore 
(4,873 ft.). The highest point in the group of ranges is Trigonometrical Station U 
(5,671 ft.), six miles east of Mount Albert and four miles without the area examined. 

PLATEAUX AND HILLS. 

Southward and in direct continuation with the Brunner and Kirwan ranges is 
an area of country of decidedly lower elevation, which stretches as far as the Big 
Grey. A distant aspect produces the impression that this country consists of rolling 
downs with a gentle rise to the eastward, but a closer acquaintance proves the 
apparently simple maturely sculptured surface to be exceedingly broken. The major 
streams flow at grade hundreds of feet below the general level of the plateau, while 
the minor streams are idreeply incised. In this report this dissected upland will be 
termed the Reefton plateau or the Reefton hiUs. 

Another area of moderate elevation and with a surface similarly sculptured occurs 
in the north-eastern portion of the subdivision between the Buller and the Orikaka. 
An extension of this area lies south of the Buller, occupying the strip of land between 
that river and the Liangahua. This upland country is the southern end of a much 
larger area of corresponding elevation, within which lie the major portions of the 
Ngakawau and Orikaka basins. 

The Brighton plateau, which is in part a true plateau, lies between the Paparoa 
Mountains and the sea. Near the coast the rocks consist of gently dipping resistant 
limestones, and the surface of these rocks from a distant aspect is apparently simple, 
but is actually exceedingly broken. Nearer the mountains the rocks are weak 
sandstones, and a much maturer stage of erosion has been reached, the uplands in 
this direction grading into a longitudinal depression which, between Bullock and 
Dilemma creeks, is interrupted by a comparatively narrow cliS-bordered ridge connecting 
the Brighton plateau with the foothills of the mountains. Northward the plateau 
extends beyond the limits of the subdivision, and southward of the Punakaiki it 
merges into the above-mentioned depression. 

* The trigonometrical station on Boundary Peak is situated at a height of 3,995 ft. 





o 
o 



o 
o 



re -< 
Q 



o 



s ? 

o ^ 



P3 



o 






3T 

RIVERS. 

The watercourses of the Reefton Subdivision may be divided into three natural 
groups, consistuig of the streams draining into (a) the Tasman Sea directly, (b) the 
Buller River, (c) the Grey River. 

The Coastal System. 
The western slopes of the Paparoas are dewatered by five considerable streams, of 
which four have their basins within or almost entirely within the subdivision. The 
most southerly, the Ten-mile (or Waianiwhaniwha) Stream,* flows south-south-west 
in a somewhat wide meridional valley for a distance of three miles, then turning 
to the westward it reaches the sea through a deep gorge, of which the lower portion 
follows closely the southern boundary of the area here dealt with. Numerous small 
streams draining the sea-front of the most western ridge of the Paparoa Range flow 
to the sea north of the Ten-mile before the next large stream is reached. Of these. 
Baker (or Maukurunui), Fagin, Granite, Canoe (or Okiwi), and Lawson (or Waiwhero) 
creeks are the most important, and maintain semi-permanent outlets through the 
storm beaches of the shore-line. The Punakaiki (or Deadman) Stream, which is 
slightly larger than the Ten-mile, after a most tortuous upper course in its mountain- 
valley, plunges in a continuous cataract through a short gorge, and then meanders 
over a flood-plain set between vertical limestone walls from 400 ft. to 500 ft. high. 
The Porarari (or Punangahaire), in its turn slightly larger than the Punakaiki, reaches 
the sea about a mile north of the latter. This stream rises in a deep V-shaped 
valley which opens out when the Brighton plateau is reached. For miles the river 
flows quietly in entrenched meanders, when it is joined by Cave Creek, an affluent 
of nearly equal size. The combined waters immediately enter the lower gorge, and 
flow at grade between towering walls for over two miles. Cave Creek issues a full- 
fledged stream from a low cavern in calcareous strata. Its tortuous course is 
entrenched 50 ft. to 100 ft. below a wide gravel-covered depression that stretches 
northward from the Porarari, parallel with the base of the mountains. The upper valley 
of Bullock Creek is very similar to that of the Porarari, being a narrow trench 
cut in solid rock and cumbered with huge rocks. When softer strata are reached 
the valley widens, and the stream flows quietly towards a deep notch cut in the hills 
which bar its way to the sea. No sooner, however, is the stream within the walls 
of the caiion than the current ceases and the water soaks through the gravelly bed 
to fissures in the limestone, to reappear as Cave Creek. The dry flood-channel 
continues down the canon cut by the stream in former times, and one distributary 
leads to a timber-blocked sinkhole at the base of a limestone cliff, while another may 
be followed to a narrow swamp drained by a small stream known also as Bullock 
Creek (or the Omonehu), trickling to the sea through a gorge bounded by stupendous 
vertical cliffs. This rill, having cut a narrow gash in the soft sandstone that lies 
beneath the gravels of the valley - floor, flows over solid rock into the lagoon 
at its mouth. Two moderate-sized torrents, cut deep in the western flank of the 
Paparoa Range, unite to form the Fox (or Potikohua) River, which flows through a 
narrow flood-plain for two miles before entering the profound cafion of its lower course. 
Dilemma Creek, a stream similar in size and history, joins it 20 chains below the 
canon's upper entrance. Two other affluents of considerable size add their waters, 
one from either side, issuing as springs amid the jumbled talus blocks that mask 



* Haast, in his " Report of a Topographical and Geological Exploration of the Western District of the 
Nelson Province, New Zealand," 1861, p. 46, refers to this stream as the Waianiwheniia, while Canoe Creek 
is called the Kokiwi. In the same report (p. 47) ho states that the name Punakaiki is applied to the rocky 
headlands just south of the river which is here called by that name, but which he terms the Porarari, a designa- 
tion now given to the stream he calls the Punangahaire. 



38 

the base of the unbroken limestone clifis. Near the sea the walls retreat a little, 
and the river anastomoses over a bed of fine shingle. The Four-mile (or Tiropahi) 
Stream and the much larger Nile (or Waitakere) River rise within the district, but 
cross its northern boundary into the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision. 

The Bxjller System. 

The Buller (or Kawatiri), one of the largest rivers in New Zealand, enters the 
Reefton Subdivision at its north-east corner immediately after traversing the rock- 
bound Lyell Gorge, by which it escapes through Victoria Range. The river flows 
with rapid current entrenched 30 ft. to 40 ft. below an old valley-floor. After receiving 
the waters of the Inangahua its course is through a limestone gorge — ^the Whitecliffs 
Gorge — below which lies the wide Rocklands Flat, cut, when the river was at a higher 
level, from the soft claystone that underlies the limestone. Here the Orikaka comes 
in from the north, and the river, leaving the area here described, enters its famous 
lower gorge. Small modern flood-plains exist at Rocklands and Three-channel Flat, 
but these are quite incons:derable. Throughout its course within the subdivision the 
Buller is obviously entrenched on the floor of an older and more mature valley. 

The Orikaka (Or Mackley) River has most of its basin without the subdivision. 
Of the three miles of its course within, over two are through a deep gorge cut in 
hard igneous rock hundreds of feet below the level of the surrounding uplands, while 
its lower portion is entrenched 30 ft. or more in the Rocklands Flat. Welshman 
Greek, which reproduces in miniature the basin of the Orikaka, drains part of the same 
area, and its gorgy lower course contrasts strikingly with the wide mature valleys 
of its headwaters. • 

The Inangahua* River, one of largest tributaries of the Buller, has almost the 
whole of its basin within the subdivision. It rises in the eastern poi-tion of Victoria 
Range, and flows first southward and then westward in a well-opened ma'ture mountain- 
valley. The absence of interlocking spurs, the hanging - valleys and great vertical 
cliffs, as well as the vast piles of moraine, bespeak the presence of a former great 
glacier. On leaving the mountains the stream turns northward and flows along their 
base, receiving a large tributary in Rough (or Tobin) Creek. Changing its character, 
the valley loses its glacial features, and assunaes those ndicative of purely fluviatile 
origin. The stream flows through valley lowlands about a mile wide, set between 
steep youthful-looking valley-walls. Down -stream the flood - plain narrows, and four 
miles above Reefton almost disappears, the river entering a typical canon — the Black's 
Point Gorge. At Reefton it debouches on the plain, and, embarrassed by vast 
quantities of waste, swings in braided channels first north-west then north-east, and 
finally nearly north to its junction at grade with the Buller twenty miles away. In 
this portion of its course it receives many tributaries, of which the chief are the 
Waitahu, Larry, and Te AVharau rivers. Other notable affluents are Burke, Boatman, 
Landing, Coal, Brown, and Rough creeks from the eastern mountains, and Giles, 
Fletcher, and McMurray creeks from the Paparoa Range. Near the junction of Landing 
Creek the river becomes entrenched below its flood-plain, and exposes the soft rocks 
of the valley-floor along vertical banks, between which it is actively engaged in cutting 
a new flood-plain. For a short distance below its confluence with the Buller the 
brown Inangahua water may be distinguished from the paler clearer water of the larger 
stream. 

The Waitahu, a river at their junction fully as large as the Inangahua, is formed 
by the union of the drainage from three once glaciated valleys which lie in great 

* The alternative name " Thackeray " is given on an old map of the Ahaura meridional circuit, published 
in 1879. 



39 

part without the subdivision. Its middle course through the Eeefton hills is similar 
to that of the Inangahua, which stream it joins five miles after leaving the uplands 
and four miles from Eeefton. 

Larry Creek, or the Awarau (or Colin*) River, is somewhat smaller than the 
Waitahu, and, like it, is formed by the union of several streams. A large, formerly 
glaciated, valley lies between the ©runner and Kirwan ranges, and drains southward 
into the main stream, which cuts right across the Kirwan Range and deeply into 
Victoria Range. The united streams plunge through a profound rock-bound gorge. 
Hundreds of feet above the torrent are gravel-strewn rock platforms, the remnants of 
an ancient valley-floor which may be traced north and south beyond the forks at an 
ever-lessening height above the river-level, and finally merges into the present upper 
valley. On leaving the gorge the river flows on a narrow flood-plain between high 
terraces, and joins the Inangahua at grade. 

The Te Wharau (or Stony) River flows in a wide mature mountain-valley, and 
receives the Kynnersley and other streams from similar valleys before turning abruptly 
eastward and plunging in a continuous cataract through a gorge cut in ancient moraine 
and solid granite. Its lower course through the gravels of the Inangahua valley is 
similar to that of the Larry River, opposite the mouth of which it joins its parent 
stream. 

These major tributaries of the Inangahua — the Waitahu, Larry, and Te Wharau 
rivers — ^have this in common : that each outs through one range, and collects the 
drainage from the depression between it and the next parallel ridge. In fact, these 
streams must be considered to have carved the ranges by their erosive power. Thus 
the Montgomerie River (the north branch of the Waitahu) has its course between the 
Victoria and Earwan ranges, while the main stream cuts through the southern end 
of the latter range. The Larry River crosses the end of the Brunner Range, and its 
branches north and south separate that range from the next ridge, which is in turn 
deeply penetrated by the main headwater stream. The Te Wharau has a similar 
course, and illustrates this peculiarity even better than the Waitahu and Larry rivers. 

The numerous minor streams that drain into the upper Inangahua are mountain- 
torrents either with great waterfalls or deep impassable gorges in their lower courses, 
while their upper valleys are comparatively open and mature. In the middle course 
of the Inangahua the small tributaries on the right bank — McConnochie, Garvey, 
Lankey, and Murray creeks — ^have gorgy lower courses, but the valleys open out near 
their sources. On the left-hand or southern side, however, each little valley is deeply 
incised and youthful to its very source. There is one exception : Golden Lead Creek, 
a large branch — in fact, the main headwater — of Deep Creek, has a gorgy lower course 
which merges into a mature upper valley. In the lower Inangahua valley the eastern 
minor tributaries fall into two groups — those that flow across the Inangahua lowlands 
with channels anastomosing through flood-plains of greater or less extent, and those of 
which the lower courses are entrenched beneath the main valley-floor. To the first 
group belong Burke, Boatman, and Landing creeks. Burke Creek is formed by the 
union, on a swampy flat, of several small streams with immature valleys which drain 
from the uplands between the Inangahua and Waitahu rivers. Boatman Creek is 
decidedly larger, and drains the Reefton hills between the Waitahu and Larry rivers. 
Its main source is in a mature valley, but the stream soon plunges into a gorge, from 
which it does not emerge xmtil the soft strata of the lowlands are reached. Both the 
main sources of Landing Creek are similar, and even the little St. Helena Creek has a 
mature upper valley. The second group of streams — Coal, Brown, and Rough creeks, 



♦ An alternative name given to this stream in a map accompanying the report of Mr. Warden Broad, 
1873, H.-7, p. 15. 



40 

with which may be included Dee, Ram, and Flaxbush creeks, which drain to the 
Buller direct — ^have beds entrenched below their ancient flood-plains across the Inangahua 
lowlands. All deeply incise the mountains, but have their sources in mature valleys 
high on the flanks of the Brunner Eange. 

The lower Inangahua receives few tributaries from the Paparoas ; the nearly 
parallel meridional valleys of the Te Wharau and the Blackwater* capture all the 
drainage except that from the eastern face of the range. McMurray and Fletcher 
creeks are small streams formed each by the union on the lowlands of several brooks 
deeply incised in the southern portion of the Orikaka uplands (see page 36). Giles 
Creek is, a much larger stream, which draws its waters from a portion of the mountains 
just south of the longitudinal valley of the Te Wharau. Its upper valley is mature, 
but the stream passes through a long gorge before reaching the lowlands, along the 
edge of which, entrenched in a narrow flood-plain, it makes its way to the Inangahua. 

The Grey System. 

Li many respects the Grey River resembles the Buller ; it has its source in 
the main Alpme chain, and, passing through a deep gorge between Victoria Range and 
its southern continuation (the Werner Range), flows for a few miles in a wide structural 
valley (see page 63), finally escaping to the sea through the extreme southern part 
of the Paparoa Range by the Brunner Gorge. After leaving the gorge through Victoria 
Range — ^the Gentle Amiie Gorge — ^the Big Grey (or Pohaturoa, as it is here called) is 
joined by the Alexander, a considerable stream draining the mountains south of the 
Inangahua, and by the Clarke coming from the Werner Range. That portion of the 
river within the subdivision has a westerly and north-westerly course to the con- 
fluence of the Little Grey (or Mawheraiti) River, which may be considered the counter- 
part of the Inangahua. The united waters, now known as the Grey (or Mawheranui) 
River, turn south-westward, and, after a relatively straight course of seven miles, enter 
the north-east corner of the Greymouth Subdivision. While within the Reefton Sub- 
division the river is characterized by a flood-plain from 50 chains to 100 chains wide, 
set between high wide terraces. The bed itself consists of wide gravel beaches, 
through which the river flows in braided channels. Besides the Mawheraiti, it receives 
as major tributaries from the Paparoa Range the Otututu and Freeth rivers and 
Moonlight and Blackball creeks. 

The Mawheraiti (or Little Grey) River has its source in the low hills that border 
the left bank of the Inangahua, and flows in a narrow flood-plain cut deep in the 
eastern edge of wide swampy terraces. From the Paparoas it receives tribute 
by means of the Maimai, Casolis, Whitefoord, Rough-and-Tumble, and Burton creeks. 
Casolis is formed by the union of rills from the very face of the range, but the others 
cut more or less deeply into the mountains, and have wide mature upper valleys which 
merge into wild gorges before the lowlands are reached. From the east, Slab Hut and 
Antonio creeks and the Blackwater and Snowy rivers drain part of the Reefton hills. 
All these streams have wide mature valleys towards their heads, but reach the low- 
lands through long narrow sinuous gorges. In the case of the larger streams, such 
as the Big River (a branch of the Blackwater) and the Snowy, very little of the 
ancient valley - floors remain, but the heads of Slab Hut and Sawyer creeks are 
admirable examples of mature valleys, in stai-tling contrast with the youth of theii 
lower courses. 

The Otututu (or Rough) River, which joins the Grey close to Little Grey Junction, 
has its source among the western ridges of the Paparoa Mountains. The great longi- 

* This stream flows to the Buller, and must not be confounded with the Blackwater of the Grey valley. 



41 

tudinal valleys of the main stream and the Gordon are wide, U-shaped, and choked 
with moraine. Below their junction the valley narrows, and finally becomes a typical 
fluvial gorge. Mirfin Creek, which joins it just after its escape from the range, has 
a mature upper valley merging into a narrow gorge. Across the lowlands the river 
anastomoses between high terraces. 

The Big* (or Freeth) River ha,s a wide upper valley, into which open several 
hanging- valleys. It escapes from the mountains by way of a deep gorge which is 
continued through the gravel terraces and underlyirg rock of the lowlands. Large 
branches are Saxton and Slaty creeks, which join it in the lowlands. The Moonlight 
Creek valley does not appear ever to have been glaciated. Nevertheless, the old 
upper valley was wide and mature, and in its floor the Moonlight and Garden Gully 
creeks are now deeply incised. The Roaring Meg, which joins the Moonlight on 
the district boundary, has a mature upper valley, from which it escapes in a con- 
tinuous cataract by a most difficult gorge. One other stream deserves mention, the 
Blackball, of which the upper part is included in the subdivision. As in the case 
of the Moonlight, entrenching of the upper valley has nearly obliterated all traces of 
an older mature valley. 

THE LOWLANDS. 

The largest area of what may be designated lowland within the Reefton Sub- 
division is constituted by the great depression that lies between the eastern mountains 
and the Paparoa Range, and stretches meridionally from one end of the subdivision 
to the other. This hollow, which is termed the Grey-Inangahua depression or 
trough, may be considered to commence as the narrow valley of New Creek, and to 
continue as the Buller valley as far as Inangahua Junction. At this point it is at 
least four miles wide ; at the junction of Larry Creek, five miles ; at Reefton, seven 
miles ; and at Hukarere, ten miles. South of the Big Grey the Reefton uplands dis- 
appear beneath gravels, and the depression widens greatly and becomes finally the 
ancient coastal plain of Westland.f On the western edge of the depression the separa- 
tion from the hills is easy and the line of separation simple, and this also applies to 
the northern portion of the eastern edge ; but in the valley of the Mawheraiti the 
eastern boundary is imbricated and more or less arbitrary. 

The floor of this depression is almost entirely covered with gravels of various ages. 
The oldest of these have been carved into low hills, but the greater part of the area 
is diAdded into steps by great terraces. A large area sculptiired into hills separates 
the watersheds of bhe Inangahua and Mawheraiti, and stretches across the depression, 
grading into the Reefton hills to the eastward and extending along the left bank 
the Mawheraiti as far south as the Blackwater River. Still farther south beyond the 
Big Grey similar hills occupy an area between that river and the Ahaura. 

Of a height but little inferior to the hill-crests in their vicinity are remnants of 
ancient flood-plains still retaining their flat surfaces. These high terraces are well seen 
between the tributaries of the Inangahua from Reefton to the Buller, and again as 
Welshman pakihi, north of the Buller opposite Three-channel Flat. In the Mawheraiti 
valley along the western side, wide stretches of pakihi plain rise in gradual steps from 
the terrace-edge that overlooks the arterial stream, to a height suggesting a correlation 
with the highest terraces of the Inangahua valley. These may be traced along the 
eastern flank of the Paparoa Range as far as Shetland Terrace, overlooking the Moon- 
light. On the eastern side of the Grey valley a remnant is preserved near the point 




* The writer, to avoid confusion with the main branch of the Blackwater, which is also called the Big Rivor, 
has given this stream the alternative name of Freeth, after Isaac Frccth, the first settler on the Ohinctakitaki 
Plain, wliich lies opposite the mouth of this river. 

t Bull. No. 13, 1911, pp. 33, 34. 



42 

where Slab Hut Creek breaks from tbe bills, and probably also tbe high terrace between 
the Blackwater and Snowy rivers belongs here. Southward the Grey has destroyed all 
trace of high-level terraces, so far as the area here described is concerned. 

Between the remnants of high-level terraces just described and the recent flood- 
plains of the rivers is a great series of terraces, which in the Inangahua valley 
are distinguishable from both the high terraces and the flood-plains. In the Grey 
valley, however, descent from the high-level terrace is generally gradual by many steps, 
although the flood-plain boundary is well marked everyTvhere. 

The lowlands of the coastal region — ^that is, the area between the highlands and 
the sea — are not of great extent. A considerable depression lies at the foot of the 
Paparoa Mountains, and separates them from the Brighton plateau. From the BuUer- 
Mokihinui Subdivision this depression extends to Dilemma Creek, south of which rises 
a cliff-edged ridge. Beyond this ridge the lowlands are continued past the Punakaiki, 
south of which they taper off to nothing near Barrytown, between the mountains and 
the coastal plain that backs the Seventeen -mile Beach. This coastal plain has a length 
of nearly ten miles and an average breadth of a mile. It rises gradually from the 
beach to a height of nearly 200 ft. at Barrytown. Other coastal plains occur near 
Brighton, and again between the Ten -mile and Fourteen-mile bluffs. These are so 
narrow, however, as to deserve the name of " raised beach " rather than that of 
" coastal plain." 

THE COAST. 

The shore-line of the Reefton Subdivision has a length of nearly twenty-seven 
miles, and presents features of a most varied nature. The bold gneiss-granite cliffs of 
Tuhinu Hill that form the shore-line in the southern portion of the BuUer-Mokihinui 
Subdivision give place to wild rocky points with intervening sandy coves. At St. 
Kilda commences a long stretch of sandy beach backed by a narrow coastal plain 
scarcely 5 chains wide, which sweeps in a long curve to the Fox River, south of which 
it turns more to the westward and tapers off against vertical cliffs about 50 ft. in 
height that terminate in an unimportant cape. A small island. Seal Island, and 
many stacks occur at this place, and, in conjunction with the cape, afford some pro- 
tection from south-westerly winds and swell to the precarious anchorage of Woodpecker 
Bay. The cliffs are continued round a headland, known as Kaipataki ; and soon sandy 
beach appears, and gradually widens southward as the Maungahura cliffs decrease in 
height and merge into low hills. Granitic rocks appear again at Motukutuku Point, 
and for two miles the shore is formed of rocky points with intervening beaches backed 
by precipitous cliffs. This portion of the coast, known as Irimahuwheri, gives place 
to a narrow wave-swept beach, from which rises, sheer for more than 1,000 ft., the 
great cliff of Te Miko. All trace of fringing beach disappears as the cliffs turn west- 
ward to Perpendicular Point ; and for more than a mile, until Pakihiroa Beach is 
reached, vertical cliffs about 300 ft. in height form the shore. Pakihiroa Beach is more 
than a mile long, and at low tide is about 15 chains wide. At the mouth of the Pora- 
rari is a small raised beach or delta, backed, as is the rest of the beach, by great 
limestone cliffs, which at Cave Point project into the sea. Beyond this another small 
gravel beach appears, which reaches to Razorback (or Okoriko) Point. This is the last 
appearance of the limestone on the coast, and a sand-and-gravel beach — ^the Seventeen- 
mile Beach — more than ten miles in length, fringing a low coastal plain, now forms 
the shore-line. The southerly drift has assorted the waste on this beach so as to 
show a fineness increasing from south to north. The coastal plain feathers out at 
Maukurimui Bluff ; and for about three miles from Baker Creek to the Fourteen-mile 
Bluff the sea is faced by bold cliHs and steep spurs, with occasional sandy beaches. 
From the Fourteen-mile Bluff a very narrow coastal plain backed by steep hills forms 



43 

the shore-line for nearly two miles, when sea-clifEs appear and continue to the southern 
boundary of the subdivision. 

The most striking feature of the sea-front as distinct from the actual shore-line 
is the great cliff that, sweeping in smooth curves from the northern boundary to the 
Punakaiki River, occasionally reaches the shore, as at Te Miko and Pakihiroa Beach. 
The remainder of the coast north of the Punakaiki is carved out of the rock platform 
from which the oliS rises. It is obvious that this feature is an ancient sea-clif£ that 
marks a considerable stillstand, during which the sea cut back the land and formed 
a mature simple coast. Since elevation left this ancient strand-line high and dry the 
old wave-cut platform has been attacked by the sea. The present irregular youthful 
coast-line is due to the heterogeneous nature of the rock platform, for the weak rocks 
have been cut back, leaving the resistant ones standing out as bold headlands. 

That the elevation took place in several stages, with intervals of rest, is proved by 
the existence of rock terraces, vqneered with beach-gravels, at various heights along 
the sea-front. In former years these gravels were of great economic importance, in that 
they yielded large quantities of detrital gold. In consequence of this their distribution 
and height above sea-level are well known, and it is possible to give a more adequate 
account of the recent elevations than would otherwise be the case. The most ancient 
of these strand-lines is that marked by a series of beach-gravels from 400 ft. to 500 ft. 
above sea-level, which may be correlated with those of the " 500 ft. terrace " of the 
Westport-Charleston district.* Isolated patches occur at many points from Barrytown 
as far north as the Punakaiki, and again from Te Miko cliff to the Fox Eiver. A 
much more continuous line of beach-gravels and rock benches marks a lower strand- 
line, which in this report will be termed the " 200 ft. strand-line " ; this corresponds 
with the " 250 ft. terrace " farther north. It stretches without a break from Barry- 
town to north of the Punakaiki, occurs inland from Perpendicular Point, and nearly 
continuously from Hatter Bay to beyond the northern boundary of the subdivision. 
Another strand-line, more recent still, but by no means so well marked, may be traced 
by gravels and rock-cut platforms lying from 60 ft. to 100 ft. above sea-level ; this 
may be termed the " 80 ft. strand-line," and is prominent near Seal Island, Perpen- 
dicular, Cave, and Okoriko points. The low narrow coastal plains at Brighton and 
north of the Ten-mile Bluff, and, in fact, at the head of every cove along the shore, 
represent an elevation of from 10 ft. to 15 ft. within very recent times. Other features 
due to this elevation are the rock-cut limestone platform at the mouth of Limestone 
Creek and the sea-cave known as Te Ana-o-Matuku, south of the Fox River. In 
respect to the coastal plain at Barrytown there is little doubt but that its formation 
commenced at the time of the 200 ft. strand-line, and that its area has increased as 
each later elevation has caused the hard rock of Okoriko Point to project farther 
westward. There are several well-marked beach-lines on its gently sloping surface, 
each with its old storm beach damming back a narrow swamp that retreats from the 
sea as it is followed northward at the rate of about 10 chains per mile. It is thus 
evident that all the pauses in elevation have not been enumerated. When the draining 
of the swamps and the clearing of the bush have completely exposed the profile of the 
sea-front, the physiographer will have a better opportunity of adequately studyiiag 
this interesting example of a rising shore-line. 

TARNS, LAGOONS, SWAMPS, SINKHOLES, ETC. 
No sheet of water worthy of the name of lake exists within the subdivision, what 
is known as Lake Rahui, in the Inangahua Survey District, being little better than a 



* Bartnim, J. A. : " The Geological History of the Westport-Charleston High-level Terraces." Trans., 
vol. xlvi, 1914, p. 255. 



44 

swamp. Portions of its surface are free of flax and raupo, but its depth can at no 
place be more than a few feet. From the shape of the lake and from the nature of 
its surroundings there is no doubt but that it is the remnant of a once more extensive 
ox-bow lake formed by the Buller when that river flowed at a higher level. 

Among the mountains, especially in Victoria Range, glacial rock-basins at the foot 
of precipitous corries are numerous. These deserve no special mention except that 
all occur above the present timber-line. Small ponds, at most 20 ft. across and 4 ft. 
deep, are common on the fell-fields of the mountains. These are always on an exposed 
place near a ridge, and are confined to granite and gneissic areas. It is suggested that 
they owe their existence to the fierce whirlwinds frequent in the high country, against 
the excavating-power of which the loose grit, residual to the frosts, offers a feeble 
resistance. Most of these have on their edges a spongy cushion of ingrowing moss, 
while numerous patches of similar vegetation mark the sites of former ponds. 

There is a tendency for all the streams flowing to the sea to form lagoons or to 
have impermanent mouths. Thus the Fox, the largest river, has a small tidal lagoon, 
while the mouths of the Porarari and Punakaiki, according to old maps, are incon- 
stant. Waiwhero Creek forms a long narrow lagoon, which doubtless also changes its 
outlet, but the lagoon of Canoe Creek is at present quite small. 

Three artificial lagoons of considerable size have been formed by hydraulic-elevating 
operations on the coastal plain at Barrytown, while irregular areas of standing water 
have been created by paddock-dredging on the courses of Boatman, Slab Hut, Antonio, 
Blackwater, Duffers, and Shellback creeks. 

In the limestone area of the Brighton hills, especially in the valley of Bullock 
Creek, sinkholes are numerous. Many of these are dry or filled with swamp, but a 
few of the more recent near the stream contain standing water. 

The swamps of the area are of two main types- — ^littoral swamps and terrace swamps. 
The former are extensively developed on the coastal plain at Barrytown, where they 
have great extension parallel with the shore-line, and are in places traversed by 
forest ridges with a similar alignment. Swamps on terraces are very extensive. In the 
coastal region large semi-swampy pakihis occur north of the Fox, between the Paparoa 
Range and the Brighton plateau. These are a continuation of the Charleston pakihis, 
and have a similar origin. A peculiar swamp, which may possibly represent a large 
infilled sinkhole, occurs north of Bullock Creek, close to the point where this stream 
disappears. In the G-rey-Inangahua valley all the high-level terraces are swampy, and 
many of them are devoid of forest growth. The subsoil of these swamps usually 
consists of a light-coloured silt overlying tight gravel, which is often cemented with 
iron oxide. Perhaps the most remarkable of these swamps are those on the low 
terraces north and south of Landing Creek. 

SPRINGS. 

Mineral springs are but feebly represented in the subdivision. The smell of sul- 
phuretted hydrogen was detected in the upper valleys of the Waitakere and Fox rivers, 
and this is probably due to hepatic waters arising along some great fracture, but in 
neither case was such a sprmg discovered. Chalybeate springs in the lode-bearing 
country near Reefton and Moonlight are frequent, and every trickle seeping from the 
recent marine gravels and sands of the coastal district carries iron in solution. 

Fresh-water springs, obviously dependent for their supply on surface streams, 
occur frequently in the limestone areas of the subdivision. The most notable example 
is furnished by Bullock Creek, which sinks into the ground and reappears a mile to 
the southward as Cave Creek. Other prominent springs are seen in the canon of 



45 '',; 

the Fox, which receives large tributaries from beneath the talus of unbroken cliffs. 
Dilemma Creek also in its gorge has a very variable volume, due to the existence of 
underground channels, of which some discharge into the Fox River and some back 
again to its own bed. On the road through the BuUer Gorge a fair-sized stream 
cascades from a cleft in the face of a cliff of calcareous sandstone just above Rocklands 
Flat. Fletcher Creek, a small branch of the Inangahua, has two channels, the under- 
ground one being used in times of normal flow, while the other serves as an overflow 
during floods. A noticeable feature of the beds of streams that issue from caves is the 
absence of all the usual traces left by floods : in fact, there are no floods in these 
streams, the underground channels being sufficient only for normal discharge. Thus 
the stream-beds are narrow, and just large enough to contain the usual volume of 
water. No uprooted trees cumber the channel, while vegetation grows right to the 
water's edge and closely overhangs the stream, and all the boulders projecting above 
the water are entirely clothed with moss. 

CAVES. 

The caves of the subdivision may be divided into two groups, according to their 
manner of formation. The thick beds of flat-lying or gently inclined limestone occur- 
ring in the coastal district are peculiarly favourable to the formation of caves by 
running water. With the exception of the underground channels at present occupied 
by streams, the longest cave seen by the writer occurs in the gorge of the Fox River, 
and is evidently a former channel of Cave Creek north. It lies about 200 ft. above the 
level of the river, and may be penetrated for about 8 chains. In form it is a narrow 
tunnel occasionally opening out into small chambers. Numerous other similar caves 
must exist in this region of sinkholes and disappearing streams. Another area of 
horizontally disposed limestone occurs in the Inangahua Survey District, and in this 
locality likewise caves are numerous. Caves also occur in connection with the Devonian 
limestone of Lankey Creek, but here the limestone-beds are broken and highly inclined, 
conditions unfavourable for the formation of extensive caves. In this place also the 
alcoves developed in the massive limestone at the upper end of the gorge of the Fox 
River and that of Dilemma Creek deserve mention. The largest, known as " the 
Ballroom " is asymmetrical, and its roof is formed of a sloping bed of impure limestone ; 
but the majority, which form recesses along the major joint-planes, are beautifully 
regular. The lime-bearing water-films have formed the exquisite canopies and half- 
domes that shelter many of these alcoves ; and to a similar origin must be ascribed 
the intricately moulded cornices, often many chains in length, that edge the more 
resistant rock-layers, which in turn generally support a luxuriant growth of fern and 
shrub. 

Caves formed by sea-action are not so numerous. The cross-shaped cave called 
by the Maoris Te Ana-o-Matuku has been gnawed by the waves from massive breccia- 
conglomerate. It occurs a few chains south of the Fox River, and its floor lies about 
15 ft. above the sea-level. As Haast* states, it " runs from north to south, is seventy- 
five paces long, ten paces broad, and 30 ft. high ; from the middle another smaller 
branch rvms towards the west, which is thirty-five paces long, and the entrance of ' 
which is washed by the sea." Other small caves are found at Cave and Razorback 
points. A notable blowhole occurs at the former headland, and another on Seal Island. 
The narrow chasm that forms one side of the ridge of Razorback Point was probably 
formed by the collapse of a sea-cave of considerable size. 



* Haast, J. von : " Report of a Topographical and Geological Exploration of the Western Districts of 
the Nelson Province, New Zealand," 1801, p. 110. 



46 

CORRELATION OF THE WAVE-FORMED TERRACES OF THE SEA-FRONT WITH THE RIVER- 
FORMED TERRACES OF THE INLAND DEPRESSIONS. 

Tlie earth's crust is never at rest ; elevation and stillstand are purely relative 
terms. The former implies a period during which the deformation of the crust, pro- 
ducing elevation of the land, proceeds more rapidly than the destroying agents can reduce 
it ; the latter, on the other hand, implies a period during which marine erosion and 
suhaerial denudation more than keep pace with deformation. In the Eeefton Subdivi- 
sion there are two lowland areas — ^the Grey-Inangahua and the Paparoa piedmont depres- 
sions — the floors of which are of weak strata, from which streams quickly carve a 
mature topography and develop extensive terraces. These weak strata are protected 
from marine erosion by belts of resistant rocks, through which the drainage-channels 
have cut their way. Thus no physiographical records of elevation, even if of great 
magnitude, can exist in the lowland areas unless the subsequent period of quiescence 
was of sufficient duration to permit of the larger streams cutting down their beds in 
the hard rock of their lower gorges. During such a lengthy period of rest the waves 
would cut a distinct rock terrace even in a hard rock, and during such a period marine 
and subaerial denudation would tend to remove the evidences of former pauses ; yet, 
unless the later stillstands were of great duration, it would be unlikely that all traces 
of preceding ones would be removed. It has been stated above that the sea-front 
shows strand-lines at various heights above the present sea-level, and that naarked 
sets of terraces occur in the Grey-Inangahua valley, and in the depression between the 
Paparoa Range and the Brighton plateau. It is not contended that each terrace is the 
dissected remnant of an ancient flood-plain. Most of them, in fact, are of merely 
local development, marking probably the down-stream migration of the meander- 
swings. Bach terrace-set, however, is believed to represent part of the valley-floor 
lowlands of a particular erosion period, and an attempt will be made to correlate the 
various strand-Unes with the series of terraces developed in the weak rocks of the 
inland depressions. 

Rejuvenation Effects connected with the Present Standstill. 

The last movement of the land, an elevation of about 10 ft., took place within 
very recent times. Thus the Omonehu, a small creek draining directly to the sea, 
has entrenched its old valley-floor only a few chains from the beach, while the Fox 
at low water flows over a rocky bar near its mouth. On the other hand, the Pora- 
rari, Punakaiki, and Ten-mile, streams similar in size, show only shingle-banks at low 
tide, the rock bars that probably exist being covered. Doubtless this recent elevation 
is the cause of all the streams being tidal for such short distances from their mouths : 
distances, in the case of the coastal streams, of a few chains only ; in the case of the 
Grey, a mile and a quarter; and of the Buller, about three miles. 

It is doubtful if the effects of so inconsiderable an elevation {i.e., 10 ft.) could 
be recognized in the inland depressions, even if sufficient time had elapsed to permit 
the streams cutting back to them, and therefore for present purposes the existing 
and the 10 ft. strand-lines are considered together. 

The period of rest that was responsible for the formation of the 10 ft. strand- 
line succeeded an uplift following on the standstill that is represented by the strand- 
line of the 80 ft. contour. It was of sufficient duration to allow the major streams 
to rejuvenate their lower courses for many miles. Thus in the coastal region the Fox, 
which may be taken as typical of all the canon -forming streams, shows throughout its 
gorge scarcely a trace of any flood-plain older than its present one. Beyond the 
limestone gorge the mountain-torrents that unite to form the river flow over wide 
shingle-beds, and have removed all save meagre remnants of an extensive terrace-set 



47 

standing from 20 ft. to 40 ft. above the present water-level, a fact indicating that 
the present stream-grade is greater than that existing at the close of what may for 
convenience be termed the 80 ft. standstill. Nearer the mounta'ns the streams have cut 
for themselves narrow channels in the underlying Miocene strata, which in the case 
of Fox and Henniker creeks are wide enough to contain insignificant flood-plains, a 
feature entirely absent from the ditch through which Dilemma Creek hurries on its 
course. 

The retrogression of the sea, from the 80 ft. to the 10 ft. strand-line, is marked 
along the Buller valley by the entrenchment of the river below an older valley-floor. 
This is well seen at Eocklands Flat, notably along the north bank of the river, and 
again from Inangahua Junction as far as the great bend in the Buller below Lyell 
Township. It is especially marked in the upper portion of the Lyell Gorge, above and 
below the junction of the Maruia, where the main road between Nelson and the West 
Coast runs on a rock-cut terrace beside a channel of which the steep granite banks 
have been swept clear of vegetation by the scour of innumerable floods. The entrenching 
due to this elevation extends up the Inangahua valley as far as Landing Creek, but 
beyond this the river-bed merges into a flood-plain formed during the standstill of 
the 80 ft. strand-line. All the creeks draining to the Buller and the entrenched portion 
of the Inangahua have cut down their lower courses for distances varying with their 
volumes, the nature of the underlying rock, and the time during which they have 
been engaged on the task. 

In the Grey River system the elevation here considered has hardly yet made its 
effects manifest on the streams of the subdivision, although the rejuvenation due to 
this period may be plainly discerned at the Arnold junction and again in the lower 
course of the Blackball. 

Rejuvenation Effects connected with the Standstill at the 80 ft. Strand-line. 

The next well-marked strand-line developed above that at 80 ft. contours the 
shore-front at from 180 ft. to 250 ft. above sea-level. The elevation that brought 
the 200 ft. erosion period to a close initiated a rejuvenation of the streams, the effects 
of which may be readily traced in localities situated many miles from the sea. 
Along the coastal streams the terraces already mentioned as occurring above the 
gorge of the Fox belong to this period. Various terraces, in general apparently 
inextensive, were formed at this time above the gorge of the Porarari ; but here — ■ 
and this is a condition obtaining throughout the coastal region — ^the dense nature 
of the bush and the narrowness of the flood-plains makes the detection and reading 
of such minor surface lineaments a difficult and uncertain matter, except in the 
immediate vicinity of the travelling-ways — ^that is, along the creek-beds and tracks. 

In the Buller River the dissected valley lowlands at Rocklands Flat and in the 
neighbourhood of Inangahua Junction belong to this period, as do the present flood- 
plains of the Inangahua and its tributaries from Landing Creek upwards, in so far 
as these traverse the Inangahua depression. As soon as the streams encounter the 
resistant rocks bordering the lowlands they become gorgy, and it has been found 
impossible to distinguish from one another the effects of the various waves of 
rejuvenation. 

In the Grey basin the whole of the modern flood-plains within the lowlands belong 
to this period of rejuvenation, and, on the whole, the phenomena exhibited closely 
simulate those existing in the Buller valley. The principal difference lies in the fact 
that the present flood-plains are more sharply distinct from the valley lowlands of 
the 200 ft. period in the Grey than in the Liangahua system. This feature is but 
a fmiction of the maturer stage of development reached by the Grey and Mawheraiti. 



48 

It is upon the flood-plains and low terraces of the erosion period here considered that 
the railway and arterial roads of the subdivision are placed, and the heights of the 
railway-stations may be used to show the grade of the main waterways at the close 
of this pause in the uplift of the land. A comparison of the amounts of cutting 
and embankment required respectively in the Grey and Inangahua valleys in connection 
with the construction-work of the railway brings out forcibly the effect a slight 
difference in the degree of maturity of a river-valley may have upon human affairs. 

Eejuvenation Effects connected with the Standstill at the 200 ft. Strand-line. 

The pause in elevation at the 200 ft. contour is represented in the coastal region 
not only by a very prominent strand-line, approximately at that height above sea- 
level, but also by terraces in the depression along the western foot of the Paparoa 
Range. In the case of the Fox the difficulties of observation and the limited time 
at the writer's disposal have militated against adequate description. An admirable 
example, however, of valley lowlands due to this period exists in the gravel-strewn 
depression between the middle courses of Porarari River and Bullock Creek. The 
inland track makes use of this natural feature, and rises from the stream-level of the 
Porarari at the Cave Creek junction (40 ft. above sea-level) to a terrace-set from 
100 ft. to 150 ft. above sea-level, probably formed by the Porarari during the 80 ft. 
erosion period. Another series of terraces, however, has to be surmounted before 
reaching Bullock Creek, and these attain a height above the sea of from 320 ft. 
to 360 ft. Both terrace-sets are traversed by the deep narrow ditch in which Cave 
Creek flows, and the higher is more or less dissected by several small streams that 
have cut through the gravels into the underlying claystone. It is suggested that the 
latter ser es was formed during the 200 ft. period by Bullock Creek, which then 
flowed in a normal manner to join the Porarari, and that its present underground 
course is of a later date. 

Along the valley of the BuUer River proper, in contradistinction to the valleys 
of its tributaries, the only terraces which may be referred to the 200 ft. erosion period 
are those occurring in the vicinity of Rocklands Flat. At its eastern end, where the 
river sets hard against the left bank, a cliff of soft calcareous mudstone 120 ft. high 
forms the base of a tableland 200 ft. above the water-level. This is quite inextensive, 
and forms only part of the gathermg-grotmd of the stream that gushes from a hole 
in the cliff just above the road. The northern portion of Rocklands Flat is formed 
by a fairly wide terrace-set now in part drained by the Orikaka. The ox-bow lake lying 
on it, however, indicates a meander curve of a radius too great to have belonged 
to any river other than the Buller. All trace of any other valley lowlands formed 
during the period now considered seems to have been removed by the river during 
its subsequent downcutting. In the Inangahua valley, however, massive blocks of 
terrace-sets, rising to a height appropriate to this period, exist between the branch 
streams from Inangahua Junction to Reefton. 

In the Grey basin terraces belonging to this series have an even more extensive 
development, and form the most pronunent physiographical feature of the low country. 
Large areas of their surface are swampy and destitute of forest growth, while much 
of what remains is covered by stunted scrub. The early settlers termed these high- 
level terraces " plains," as much on account of their open swampy character as on 
account of their flatness. Thus along the western side of the Grey valley the moor 
stretching from the head of the Mawheraiti to the Whitefoord is known as the Maimai 
Plain, that along Burton Creek as McHardy's Plain, and that north of the Otututu 
as Mirfin's Plain. The swampy terrace land drained by the Craigieburn is known 
as the Craigieburn Pakihi, while that forming a small area between Caledonia and 



49 

Baxter creeks does not appear to have received a name. On the other side of the 
valley the Ikamatua Plain lies between the Mawheraiti and the Big Grey, while south 
of the latter river is MacMey's Plain. The terraces at the back of Raupo are known 
as the Ohinetakitaki Plain, and this merges southwards into the Ahaura Plains, which 
stretch for several miles along the banks of the river to which they owe their name. 
It should be noted that similar open spaces are to be found on the Inangahua valley 
on terraces of this period. These are most extensive between the Waitahu River 
and Boatman Creek, and, in conjunction with the unforested areas belonging to the 
present valley lowlands just north of the former stream, constituted the Oweka Plains 
of Brunner and Haast. This name is, however, also applied to the lowland country, 
treeless in patches, lying between the Inangahua River and the Brunner Range. 

Rejuvenation Effects connected with the Standstill at the 500 ft. Strand-line. 

Along the shore-front marine beach-gravels occur, as already described, at many 
places at heights varying from 400 ft. to 600 ft. above the present sea-level. These 
mark a stillstand, or rather a period of relatively unimportant earth-movements, and 
have a much greater development to the northward in the Charleston-Addison district, 
where sea-built terraces some miles in width stretch along the mountain-base southward 
from the Buller. An arm of this area extends into the basin of the Fox, where 
the writer is informed blacksand-leads exist at a height of about 600 ft. above sea- 
level. The old marine beaches that once formed wide-spreading flats in this locality 
have been covered to a great extent by stream-gra,vels from the mountains, and 
afterwards the whole has been sculptured by subaerial denudation during the succeeding 
erosion periods. The result is an assemblage of hillocks, of which only the equality 
of height suggests their derivation from continuous lowlands. Similar remarks apply to 
the high-level stream-gravels which occur at many points on the ridges within the 
piedmont depression. From the land-forms alone, without the evidence furnished 
by the nature of the deposits, it would be difficult to maintain that streams ever 
flowed in mature graded valleys at such a height in this locality. 

Along the Buller River system, and especially in the Inangahua valley, great 
terraces exist between the tributaries fully 500 ft. above the present main drainage- 
channels. Such terraces occur against the hills and mountains bounding the depression, 
and form a terrace-set sharply distinguishable from the series next below it. Their 
distribution has already been sufficiently indicated. 

In the Grey basin terraces referred to this period are represented by the tableland 
lying between the Snowy River and the Blackwater. The wide terrace between the 
former stream and Mossy Creek, though of slightly lower elevation, must probably 
also be considered here. The well-sculptured hills that south of the Big Grey rise 
above the so-called plains of that region have been carved from ancient valley lowlands 
of a similar height. In the valley of the Mawheraiti, and along the western side of 
the Mawheranui, stream erosion during the 200 ft. period has removed all but the merest 
remnants of this, the oldest terrace series of which the form may still be traced. 

The senile topography of the high-level portions of the Reefton and Orikaka hills 
is undoubtedly the result of long-continued denudation during this period. The gentle 
manner in which the hills rise from old terrace-surfaces in the catenary curves of mature 
adjustment strikingly attest this, and prove its long continuance. 

Conclusion. 

The writer, as soon as he had conceived the possibility of correlating the strand- 
lines of the coast with the terrace-sets of the Grey-Liangahua depression, commenced 
the systematic observation of terrace-heights during field-work, in order to give a 
i — Beefton. 



50 

quantitative as well as a qualitative value to tlie phenomena attending the develop- 
ment of tlie different interrupted erosion cycles. It was soon found, however, that such 
work to be adequately performed would consume more time than was available. Never- 
theless the data collected, while not sufficient for an authoritative discussion of all the 
conclusions, yet enable several general inferences to be drawn and some puzzling 
physiographical features to be explained. 

The Buller is very much larger than the Grey, and has a much greater corrosive 
power. Conclusive proof of this is provided by the fact that since the last material 
elevation of the land rejuvenation has progressed in the Buller to the Four-river Plain, 
over fifty miles from the sea, while the corresponding distance in the Grey Eiver is 
barely eighteen miles. This great disparity exists in spite of the fact that the down- 
cutting of the Buller has been effected along a course through twenty-two miles of hard 
rock and twenty-one miles of moderately resistant strata, while the figures for the Grey 
are five and four miles respectively, the balance of cutting in each case being through 
loose gravel. In considering the work of the Buller, the fact that this river, unlike 
the Grey, has nowhere within its lower valley had an opportunity of aggrading on the 
grand scale makes strict comparison of the streams impossible, but analogies may 
fairly be drawn between the Inangahua and the Mawheraiti, in so far as their lower 
valleys are concerned. The Inangahua is decidedly the larger stream, and has in the 
present erosion period already entrenched its bed for six miles from the jimction with 
the Buller, whereas the rejuvenation rapids of the main Grey are still five miles from 
the Mawheraiti junction. It cannot be doubted but that the Inangahua enjoyed a similar 
advantage in the preceding rejuvenation periods, and it is natural to expect the valley 
lowlands due to each period to have reached a more mature stage than the corre- 
sponding features in the Mawheraiti. The reverse, however, is the case. The reason 
is not far to seek ; it lies in the fact that moderately resistant rocks are much closer 
beneath the gravels in the Inangahua than in the Mawheraiti valley. This is very 
patent below the Landing Creek junction, to which point the rejuvenating influence 
of the last uplift has made itself felt. Above this, however, the conditions are strictly 
comparable with those existing along the Mawheraiti. As each tributary of the former 
river is traced from the parent stream the underlying beds are found to protrude 
long before the edges of the depression are reached. Indeed, the swing of the main 
river also exposes these beds at a few points. In the Mawheraiti, on the other hand, 
consolidated strata outcrop in the branch streams only as they approach the hills. 
The observations pertinent to these statements are tabulated below : — 

Cross-section of trough at — 
Larry Creek junction . . 
Giles Creek junction 
One mile above Waitahu junction 
Maimai junction (Grey River) . . 
Burton Creek jimction 
One mile below Little Grey junction 

The writer considers that the facts are most satisfactorily explained by postu- 
lating the existence of a great valley belonging to a river that flowed southward along 
the great depression over the sites of the present Inangahua and Mawheraiti. This 
valley was filled by gravels prior to any of the erosion periods hitherto mentioned, 
and is now in process of re-excavation. The drainage of the northern portion of this 
valley, however, must have been diverted through the Buller Gorge prior to any of 
the erosion periods described above. 



Widtk between 

Outcrops. 

Chains. 

. . 110 


Elevation of Main 
Drainage-channel. 
Ft. 
440 


. . 180 


460 


. . 220 


550 


..340 


540 


. . 400 


430 


. . 450 


260 

1 _ ■ _n 1 




[Photo by W . SJicrlock. 




ll'/io/o //I/ ./. liilK/. 

Plate V. 
Fig. 1. — ViKw ok Junction op tiiio IJk; Ghey and Mawiiehaiti IIivehs, siio\vin(! 'rKiiUACKs and 

THE EVEN SKY-lilNE OF THE PaI'AHOA lvAN(iH. 

Flf!. 2. .lUNf'TION OV rUK Bui.LER AND InANOAHUA RiVERS, WITH BOUNDARY PeaK IN TIIIO DISTANCE 

AND I'AKT OF THE OuiKAKA lIlIiI,S ON THE LEKT. 

Face p. 60. \ 



51 



The entrenchiment of the streams beneath the base-levelled surface of the Keefton 
and Orikaka uplands has already been commented upon. No attempt, however, has 
been made to trace within them the effects of the various erosion periods ; indeed, 
from the time the rejuvenating influence of the uplift terminating the 500 ft. period 
reached the hard rock of the upper valley of a stream, the energies of that stream 
have probably been absorbed in the downcutting of its valley. Only in the case of 
the Inangahua and Waitahu have terraces of more than the most limited extent been 
formed, and these have been doubtfully ascribed by the writer to the 200 ft. erosion 
period. The distance each stream has proceeded with its work of gorge-cutting is a 
function of its volume, the time of erosioUj and the nature of the underlying rock. 
Some have destroyed all trace of their ancient valleys, but many, as has already been 
stated, still have mature headwater valleys in the uplands beyond their youthful gorges. 
To the first class belong all the streams of the coastal region with the exception of the 
Waitakere, which still preserves at its very source a short section of the ancient 
glaciated trough wherein it takes its rise. In the Grey basin a comparison of the 
tributaries from the west as they successively leave the Paparoa Eange is most instruc- 
tive. These from the lower ends of their intermontane gorges traverse rocks of fairly 
uniform hardness, and the features of physiography may on this account be reduced 
to tabular form. From this table the Roaring Meg and the Pike streams have been 
omitted, the first on account of its abnormal history,* and the second because so 
much of its course is in rock differing in resisting-power from that through which the 
other streams have had to cut their gorges. 



Name of Stream. 




Distance of 

Lower End of 

Gorge from 

Stillwater, 

in Miles. 


Length of 
Gorge, in Miles. 


Length of Old 

Valley above 

the Gorge, in 

Miles. 


Area of Liter- 
montane Basin, 
in Square Miles. 


Height at 

which the 

Gorge reaches 

the Old VaUey- 

floor, in Feet 










above Sea -level. 


Blackball . . 


6-50 


3-00 


2-50 


8-70 


1,000 


Moonlight . . 




13-00 


3-00 


2-50 


12-50 


1,010 


Freeth 




17-00 


4-00 


2-75 


10-00 


1,400 


Mirfin 




22-50 


1-25 


1-50 


2-84 


2,000 


Otututu 




23-00 


2-50 


10-00 


45-20 


920 


Burton 




24-00 


1-00 


1-25 


2-20 


2,420 


Whitefoord 




27-00 


2-00 


3-50 


8-37 


1,980 


Maimai 




29-50 


1-50 


3-00 


5-75 


2,050 


Giles 




32-50 


0-75 


2-50 


3-85 


2,060 



ALTERATIONS IN DRAINAGE. 

Perhaps the most obvious example of stream-piracy is that furnished by the 
portion of the Inangahua above Keefton. The section of the river between Reefton 
and Stevenson's Flat flows at first northward for several miles along the foot of the 
mountains before turning more to the westward and cutting through the Reefton 
hills. The tributaries in this portion of its course are, with one exception, small, 
and those from the right have this in common : that all have their upper valleys 
wide, shallow, and very much more mature than the narrow tempestuous gorges by 
which they link themselves to the Inangahua. This distinction applies to the Murray, 
Lankey, Scottie, Garvey, McConnochie creeks, and also to Tobin (or Rough) Creek, 
the large stream referred to above. The tributaries from the left valley-flank are 
streams analogous in size to those from the right, draiii a similar set of uplands, 



4* — Beefton, 



*Seep. 53. 



52 

and have similar courses, except tliat in no case is the headwater more mature than 
any other portion of the valley. It is suggested that the present valley of the 
Inangahua is a comparatively modern feature, younger than the mature headwaters 
of the streams from the east. These branches formerly flowed westward or south- 
westward across the present site of the Inangahua, and joicied the tributaries of the 
Mawheraiti that drain the uplands in this locality. It is for this reason that the 
small streams from the west have immature valleys to their very heads. There is 
one exception . to this. Deep Creek in cutting back captured a creek that once 
drained to Carr Creek, and this stream still has its mature upper valley, and flows 
in a direction nearly at right angles to what would be the course of a normally 
developed tributary of Deep Creek. A prominent elbow of capture is to be noticed 
in connection with the same stream, and similar elbows occur in Rainy and Auld 
creeks, the former of which used to drain to Devil Creek, while the latter flowed 
along the mature valley that can be traced from the head of Portugee Creek 
to Reef ton. The tributaries of the Mawheraiti from the uplands in this locality 
have several peculiarities. Their headwaters drain from saddles which are also reached 
by branches from the Inangahua, and there is no interlocking of opposing head- 
waters of streams from the Grey and Buller basins. A like condition prevails at 
the headwaters of Devil Creek, which are opposed by Union and Rainy creeks. The 
most prominent saddle is that between Deep Creek and a small branch of Carr Creek, 
but others occur at the heads of Slab Hut and Absolum creeks and the Big and 
Snowy rivers. It should be noted that above Deep Creek the streams to the 
Inangahua from the saddles are very small, suggesting that a decided interval of 
time elapsed after the capture of Tobin Creek before the intermontane stream at 
present forming the headwaters of the Inangahua was diverted from its course down 
Absolum Creek to the Grey. The saddles between the basins of the Snowy and the 
Alexander and the valley of the Inangahua are 2,350 ft. and 2,300 ft. above sea-level 
respectively, while the stream-level below is from 1,080 ft. to 1,160 ft. This indicates 
that the streams were beheaded not later than during the 500 ft. erosion period, and 
probably considerably earlier. 

The valleys heading to the saddles above mentioned are much too large for the 
streams they now contain. This is peculiarly noticeable when branches leave the 
main valley. In the case of the Alexander the principal stream turns abruptly into 
the mountains, while Absolum Creek, a far smaller stream, continues the direction 
of the lower valley to the saddle. It flows beneath an older mature valley, in the 
gravels of which it is suiflciently entrenched to show occasional outcrops of the 
underlying rock. Snowy River splits into two nearly equal headwater branches, of 
which the one follows the general course of the stream in a wide valley showing no 
outcrops, while the other coming from the southward exposes a continuous section 
of granite in a valley still youthful. The Big River has its source in swampy coimtry 
of senile relief that slopes gently upward toward the valley of the Inangahua. Low 
hills rise above this surface, and its abrupt eastern edge is gashed by small feeders of 
the Buller system. The features observed suggest that the Big River has lost little 
territory to the Inangahua, an hypothesis supported by the character of its vaUey 
as compared with that of the Snowy, a stream of equal size and flowing across the 
same rocks. The valley of the Big River is little better than a tortuous trench, 
the sides of which show constant slips, while that of the latter is much straighter, 
hundreds of feet deeper, and decidedly less youthful. It would seem that the Snowy 
before it was beheaded received the drainage of the mountain-flank between Tobin 
Creek and the upper Inangahua, and had succeeded in deepening its valley considerably 
in advance of the Big River before being deprived of this material assistance. Tobin 



53 

Creek flowed to the Grey probably by way of the Deep Creek saddle, which for this 
reason is about 300 ft. lower than that at the head of Slab Hut Creek, the lost head 
of this latter stream being probably Garvey Creek. Lankey Creek similarly once joined 
Oriental Creek, the gravelled flats on which Cornishtown is built being a remnant 
of its wide mature valley-floor. Devil Creek at this time emptied into the Mawheraiti 
near Tawhai. Murray Creek, with some assistance from Auld Creek, is responsible 
for the high-level gravels at the head of Liverpool Dave Creek, but that it followed the 
course of that stream is doubtful. 

Besides capturmg streams draining to the Grey from Victoria Range to its own 
channel, the Inangahua has also annexed from the Mawheraiti at least one considerable 
stream from the Paparoas. Giles Creek has a very prominent elbow of capture at 
the base of the mountains, and the depression followed by the first-made pack-track 
from the Mawheraiti to the Inangahua is the old dissected high-level valley of this 
stream. 

The piedmont depression lying to the west of the Paparoa Range has seen as 
many, perhaps more, changes in drainage than even the disputed territory lying near the 
watershed of the Inangahua and Mawheraiti. The data available, however, are too 
scanty for an adequate discussion of this problem, and the views here expressed must 
be considered tentative only. The distribution of the beach-gravels containing blacksand 
makes it certain that during the 500 ft. erosion period a shallow arm of the sea 
penetrated from the north, between the mountains and the limestone hills of the 
coast, as far south as the basin of the Fox. It is probable that during at least part 
of the 200 ft. period the streams drained northward into an ancient river-system now 
represented by the Waitakere and Four-mile streams. The canon of the Fox through 
the coastal plateau follows a structural hollow; and it seems likely that the position 
of this feature was determined by fissures or incipient fissures along the trough offering 
a readier access to the sea than that afforded by the Waitakere or Four-mile streams, 
which had to deepen their lower courses through gneissic granite. 

The drainage history of the southern portion of the piedmont depression presents 
a much more difficult problem. It is separated from the northern section by a rather 
narrow ridge-like plateau edged with vertical cliffs, the surface of which is mature- 
looking, and in places at least is veneered with ancient gravels. Whether these were 
deposited during the 500 ft. erosion period or at an earlier time is not known, nor 
can the direction of flow of the old streams be certainly determined. The gravels 
themselves consist chiefly of greywacke and argillite ; and since in this region the only 
large area of such rocks lies to the southward, it is suggested that the sea-inlet 
above referred to occupied a depression which extended southward as a river-valley 
that included the headwaters of the present Porarari and Punakaiki. 

A very obvious instance of domestic piracy is furnished by the upper Roaring 
Meg which once joined the left-hand headwater branch of Blackball Creek, while the 
means by which the stream-diversion was effected may also be definitely stated. The 
upper valley of the Roaring Meg is well graded, and at its lower end, where the water- 
level is approximately 2,000 ft. above sea-level, contains a little lake — Lake Margaret — 
and a small swampy flat. On the other hand, so far as the Reefton Subdivision is 
concerned, the middle valley of this stream is rivalled in narrowness and difficulty only 
by the upper portion of Bullock Creek, a stream traversing a type of rock that tends 
to produce gorgy valleys. The saddle leading to the Blackball is barely 50 ft. above the 
stream ; and so narrow is the ridge separating the watersheds that a tunnel about 
100 ft. in length has been driven from a small tributary of the Blackball, and the 
Meg may be turned at will down this stream. The left branch of the Blackball is 
entrenched in a gravel-deposit and shows only occasional outcrops, while the rill which 



54 

forms its actual source turns suddenly southward up tlie mountain-slope. The hypo- 
thesis that suits all the facts postulates that a great slip that filled the old valley, 
and caused the dammed-up Meg to take its present course, has come from the steep 
hillside to the southward. This accounts for the occurrence of the pond and swamp, 
features unique in the subdivision for such a portion of an intermontane valley. It 
is possible that the present course of the Meg is a reversion to its original valley, the 
Blackball having extended its territory by cutting back along the fauJt-zone from which 
the loose rock of the slip originated. It is difficult to account otherwise for the 
existence of a valley-head in a mountain region separated from a stream of the 
size of the Meg by a saddle of less height than that now existing at the head of the 
Blackball. 

One other case of drainage-diversion deserves mention. Lake Rahui, a half-fitUed-in 
ox-bow lake formed by the Buller during the 200 ft. erosion period, formerly drained 
down Muddy Creek. The Wellington Sluicing Company formed a race to tap it, and 
constructed a dam to raise the surface of the water. The lake then brimmed over, 
and now discharges into the small tributary of the Orikaka joining that river a few 
chains above its junction with the Buller. 



66 



CHAPTER IV. 



FAULTING, LODE-COURSES, AND STRUCTURE. 






Page. 






Introduction . . 


. 55 


Structure — continued 




Age and Nature of the Faults 


. 55 


Paparoa Horst 




Pre-Tertiary Fault-zones 


. 56 


Inangahua-Grey Graben 




Introducton 


. 56 


Reefton Plateau 




Reefton Fault-zones . . 


. 57 


Orikaka Plateau 




Paparoa Fault-zones 


. 68 


Brighton Plateau 




Tertiary Faults 


. 59 


Scenery in Relation to Structural 


Fea- 


Structure 


. 61 


tures 




Victoria Horst 


. 62 







Ptvge- 

62 
63 



64 
65 



INTRODUCTION. 
In the chapter on physiography prominence was given to the surface forms which are 
believed to be controlled by miderground structures. The observer cannot but be 
struck by the abruptness with which the mountains rise from the lowlands, and the 
simplicity of their base-lines. Again, the great longitudinal depressions that traverse the 
mountain regions are remarkable features. The first outcrop encountered in the inter- 
montane valley of the Otututu consists of soft pug, well banded and containing angular 
fragments of granite. This rock (using the term in its geological sense) has a meri- 
dional strike with a vertical dip, and continues for several chains ; it is, in fact, 
comminuted granite filling a great fracture. As the geologist extends his observations 
more widely over the district it becomes increasingly manifest that great fracture-zones 
have a most profound influence on the physiography of the subdivision. 

McKay was the first to point out the great part that faulting, as opposed to 
folding, had played in the Tertiary history of New Zealand. His paper of 1890* 
described many of the major faults of New Zealand. Although, from lack of the 
necessary data, some of the correlations he made between widely separated fracture-zones 
are known to be mistaken, yefc his labours in this field have laid the foundation on 
which all further work must rest. Morgan in the North Westland Division, Webb 
and Morgan in the Westport Division, and the present writer in West Nelson as a 
whole, have traced the course of the major faults of the district in greater detail than 
could be attempted by McKay. 

The criteria for the detection of faults are geological and physiographical. Until 
recent years the physiographical evidences of faulting were looked upon with strong 
disfavour by some geologists, but so many proofs of their value have been obtained 
that it is now generally recognized that even without geological data they may furnish 
conclusive proof concerning the existence and course of faults. In the Reefton Sub- 
division, however, it is almost always possible, as examination is more widely extended, 
to find positive evidence of faulting somewhere along the course of a great fracture, 
and the physiographic features are then of the utmost value in determining the 
strike of the fracture. 

AGE AND NATURE OF THE FAULTS. 
The geology of the Reefton Subdivision will be described in the next chapter, 
and it will suffice here to give a brief summary of its main features. Tliick beds 
of Palaeozoic greywacke and argillite, with which are associated, over a small area, 



* McKay, A. 
pp. 1-22. 



" On the Geology of Marlborough and South-east Nelson." Rep. G.S., No. 21, 1892, 



56 

quartzite, argillite, and limestone containing Devonian fossils, constitute tlie basement 
rocks of the subdivision. Vast masses of acidic igneous rocks were intruded into these 
strata, and long-continued subaerial denudation has brought about their exposure over 
great areas. Subsequent crustal stresses, perhaps due to the cooling of the magma, 
found relief in the formation of great . fracture-zones, in the fissures of which auriferous 
quartz was deposited. The extensive mining operations of the district have disclosed 
the general trend of these ancient fault-systems. No deposits of Secondary age are 
known within the subdivision, and the beds overlying the greywacke and granites 
were laid down in the Eocene. They consist of breccias, conglomerates, grits, and 
sandstones, which in this district have no great areal extension. Of much greater 
importance is a thick series of rocks that, in upward sequence, displays conglomerates, 
grits, sandstones, mudstones with their gradations, and then again claystones, sand- 
stones, and in some parts conglomerates. These beds are believed to range from 
Miocene into the Pliocene. Gravels^ — marme, fluviatile, and morainic — overlie with 
great unconformity, and complete the geological record. 

It is not proposed in this chapter to discuss at length the evidence on which 
the statements of the age of the fault-systems are based ; for this the reader is referred 
to later pages. The earlier faults are, of course, not nearly so well known as the later 
ones, since Tertiary and later deposits must conceal them to a great extent. In 
regard to the dislocations affecting the Tertiary strata, from direct evidence it is known 
only that post-Pliocene movements have taken place. Other lines of reasoning, however, 
lead to the conclusion that at least four periods of faulting occurred during Tertiary 
times. These periods were, approximately, just prior to the Eocene deposition, just 
prior to the Miocene, between Miocene and Pliocene, and again after the Pliocene. 
Later movements of the land, although of considerable magnitude, as indicated by the 
physiography, do not seem to have been attended with faulting on the West Coast. 

The faults present the usual characteristics. The movement, even along the same 
dislocation, may be concentrated in a single fracture with walls close together or 
perhaps several chains apart, the intervening space being filled with comminuted rock 
containing numerous angular fragments from the walls. These fragments may increase 
until the gouge is quite secondary, when a fault-breccia results. Sometimes the frag- 
ments are rounded, and these may be sufficiently numerous to simulate a conglomerate. 
Again, the fault may be a shear-zone with numerous subparallel and closely spaced 
pohshed surfaces, with the interveniag rock rendered schistose and always more or less 
deformed. Again, the rock-sheets may increase in size and be but little distorted. 
When such occuiTences merge into single-fracture dislocations the total downward 
movement of the depressed block is not sensibly different, the minor breaks being com- 
plementary. One type of fault constantly recurs — narrow trough faults — ^in which the 
rock between the main-fault walls belongs to a higher horizon than the walls them- 
selves. When the Tertiary beds which overlie the Palaeozoic sediments and granites are 
involved the detection of this type of fault is very easy. 

The main fracture-planes nowhere appear to deviate far from the vertical, and, 
although no definite proof can be adduced for the statement, the writer beUeves the 
fault-movements to have been essentially normal. There are numerous well-marked 
examples of faults with varying throw, while the occurrence of hinge faults is also 
suspected. These types will be pointed out as each fault is described. 

PRE-TERTIARY FAULT-ZONES. 
Introduction. 
The pre-Tertiary faults are recognizable with certainty only when the fissures have 
been filled with igneous rock, cemented by quartz veins, or have the fissure-walls 



57 

impregnated with mineral. The dykes seem to have penetrated the fractures as tongues, 
and not as continuous sheets, and on this account they have not proved so vakxable 
as sources of evidence as the deposits and impregnations of mineraUzing solutions. 
That the earth-movements which produced these faults were spread over long periods 
of time is certain, and it is probable that at least two separate and distinct intervals 
of quiescence occun-ed during their formation. The crustal stresses of the different 
periods were reheved, however, by movements of a similar nature and along the esta- 
bUshed zones of dislocation. Diabase dykes are considered to mark the fractures by 
which relief was given at the time of the intrusion of the igneous magma. After 
these had consoUdated a further movement extended the fractures, crushing some of 
the dykes and also bringing other fissures into existence. Along these auriferous 
quartz was deposited, the nature of which proves, for the period of their formation, a 
state of inequiUbrium and frequent small movements between the fissure-walls. 

Eeepton Fault-zones. 

The best-known pre-Tertiary fault-zones of the subdivision are those that contain 
the auriferous lodes of Reefton, and which stretch from north of Landing Creek to the 
Snowy River, a distance of nearly twenty-five miles. They consist of two parallel 
and partly overlapping zones or runs* of intensely faulted rock, containing many 
diabase dykes and innumerable quartz lodes. The eastern subzone stretches from 
Landing Creek to the upper valley of Snowy River, a distance of about twenty miles, 
the strike of the whole being about N. 13° E. Its outermost fractures on the west 
are probably small, and are very imperfectly known, but the width of the belt is at 
least from 80 chains to 100 chains. The dip of the majority of the individual fault- 
planes is to the westward ; and the writer suggests that originally all were in this direc- 
tion, and that powerful Tertiary fault-movements are responsible for the eastward 
dips of the lodes in the Boatman and Big River districts. The strikes of the indi- 
vidual planes do not conform with the general strike of the zone. Thus from Lauding 
Creek to Raglan Creek the planes strike nearly N. 10° W. ; from Boatman Creek to 
MuiTay Creek, N. 5°-25° E. ; from Murray Creek to Slab Hut Creek, N. 8° W. ; and 
from Slab Hut Creek to Snowy River, N. 18°-45° W. This aiTangement closely 
corresponds with the fractures produced in a homogeneous solid by a torsional stress.f 
In nature such a series of fractures results when a stress crosses obliquely the folds, 
fractures, or incipient fractures produced by a former stress. 

To return to the main theme : The western zone stretches from Devil Creek to 
south of Snowy River, a distance of twelve miles. It lies parallel to and overlaps for 
nearly nine miles the eastern zone, from which it is separated by a belt of hard grey- 
wacke about two miles wide, containing few fracture-planes. The dip of the fault- 
planes is to the westward, and their strike east of north to an extent varying between 
24° and 30°. It must be noted that, as in the eastern fault-zone, though to a some- 
what less extent, the strike of the individual planes varies decidedly from that of the 
zone in general. 

Another important pre-Tertiary fault-zone is that on which occur the quartz lodes 
of Kirwan's Hill, McConnochie Creek, and the Alexander River. The mineralized 
granite outcropping in a small branch of Tobin Creek nmst also be here included. 
There are indications of its extension northward into the north branch of Larry 
Creek, and the zone has thus been traced a distance of about twenty miles. Its 



* For definition of "run" see p. 115. 

f See A. Daubree : ICtudes Synthotiquos do ( Jeologi(^ I'lxperimcntalo," Paris, 1879 ; quoted in Ivuilo 
Haug's " Trait6 de Geologic," vol. i, 1907, p. 226, &c. See also E. Suoss : " Daa Aiitlitz dcr Erde," English 
tranSation, vol. i, 1904, p. 122. 



58 

strike as a whole is about N. 11° B., while most of the lodes of Kirwan's Hill strike 
about N. 22° B. The block of country separating this zone from the Eeefton fault- 
zone has an average width of about four miles, and consists in the north and south 
chiefly of granite, while in the central portion it is largely of Palseozoic sediments 
intruded by the granite that outcrops over a small area in the valley of the Waitahu, 
about a mile below the forks of that river. 

Paparoa Fault-zones. 

The most southerly portion of the Paparoa Range within the subdivision was in 
pre-Tertiary times affected by powerful stresses, and the fractures produced thereby now 
contain dykes of basic rock or quartz veins. Of these, the latter are reported to be 
well exposed on the alpine meadow-lands near the sources of the Ten-mile, Blackball, 
and Moonlight creeks. The writer visited these inhospitable regions in May of 1913, 
at a time when a heavy faU of snow entirely hid all outcrops, and unfortunately no 
later opportunity presented itself for further examining the locality. 

McKay says, " There are six or seven distinct lines of quartz reefs with accom- 
panying leaders or Veins. All of them have an east-and-west direction, and as a rule 
dip to the north."* The writer's observations in the lower-lying country confirm this 
statement, provided that " east and west " be considered to be magnetic east and west. 

The most northerly minerahzed zone, according to McKay, crosses the range into 
the north headwater branch of MoonHght Creek, where an auriferous lode striking 
about 110° has been discovered. Other large lodes with similar orientation exist in the 
spur to the southward. A small diabase dyke with a strike of 103° outcrops near the 
Moonlight forks, and the large dyke observed in the valley of Canoe Creek, six miles 
from its mouth, probably also belongs to this belt. The run has a width of about 
half a mile, and a length between the Umits here described of about five miles. McKay's 
next " Hne,""|" outcropping between the heads of Canoe and Moonhght creeks, the pre- 
sent writer is inclined to group with that immediately to the southward. Quartz 
lodes belonging to these " fines " traverse the ridge between the Roaring Meg and 
the Moonlight, and again appear on the ridge on which is situated Trigonometrical 
Station P and in the headwaters of McCarthy Creek, the length of the whole series being 
about seven miles. It is probable that Fagin Creek and the head of the Roaring 
Meg are fault-fine valleys excavated along a powerful dislocation. This supposition 
is supported by the distribution of the granite and sedimentary rocks in the Fagin 
Creek vaUey at the western extremity of the line, and by the loose diabase and the 
many quartz lodes occurring near and north of the saddle between the Roaring Meg 
and Blackball streams. The writer, however, has had no opportunity of examining 
Mount Ryall, where evidences of fracturing should also occur. The next " fine " 
foUows the north-east side of the right headwater branch of BlackbaU Creek. According 
to McKay, quartz veins belonging to this series do not outcrop along the Ten-mile 
Stream, but towards the Upper Blackball Township lodes up to 40 ft. in thickness 
may be traced for a distance of from one and three-quarters to two miles. To this 
lode-series may be refeiTed the large quartz lode outcropping in the savage gorge of 
the Roaring Meg, an occurrence making it traceable for about six miles. The Minerva 
lode, outcropping in the BlackbaU Creek just within the subdivision, belongs to another 
series of lodes, which has representatives towards the east in the quartz veins near the 
lower end of the gorge of the Roaring Meg and in German Gully. To its western 
extension may be referred the veins near the head of Smoke-Ho and Otto creeks. 

* McKay, A. : " Geology of the South- west Part of Nelson and the Northern Part of the Westland 
District." C.-13, 1895, p. 27. 
t For definition see p. 115 



59 

The length of this series is thus five miles, and the width rather more than half a 
mile. The lodes of Langdon Creek, six miles south of the southern boundary of the 
subdivision, have an orientation similar to that of the various lode-series above described, 
and probably are structurally connected with them. 

Besides the above-mentioned belts of dislocation, all of which have a strike a 
Httle south of east, another system of fractures exist striking a little west of north. 
The first, which may be termed the Garden Gully lode-series, shows numerous quartz- 
filled fissures in Garden Gully and McCarthy Creek. It is continued northward by 
the quartz veins outcropping above the township of Moonlight. The next series of 
lodes lies 100 chains to the westward and somewhat to the northward, and may be 
termed the Upper Moonlight series, from the fact that it crosses the three streams 
that unite to form Moonlight Creek. Veins that probably belong to it are reported 
to outcrop on the steep spur lying to the west of the head of the Punakaiki Eiver, 
and doubtless these have furnished the shoad quartz so abundant in the upper valley 
of that stream. Although the series strikes west of north, most of the lodes belonging 
to it have courses a little to the east of north — that is, at right angles to the direction 
of the other group of lode-series, one of which has already been described as appearing 
in this locality. Another series — ^probably belonging to the second system, but one of 
which, as the writer has already explained, he has no personal knowledge — ^is that to 
which belong the auriferous lodes in the TafEy and Croesus claims. In the Croesus 
the strike of the lode is nearly due north, and the dip is eastward at about 35°. In 
the Taffy the leader-zone strikes west of north, and has a steep dip to the north-east. 

TERTIARY FAULTS. 

The Tertiary and post-Tertiary faults include also those that were formed just 
prior to the deposition of the lowest Tertiary strata. Although the rocks of the 
subdivision have been affected by at least four periods of crustal stress during the 
Tertiary, it is rarely possible to prove any fracture older than the latest period of move- 
ment. It is probable that aU the deformations were of a like nature, and that once 
the zones of fracture were estabhshed the subsequent stresses would tend to find relief 
along the old ruptures. In the neighbourhood of Reefton it can be demonstrated that 
many Tertiary faults follow pre-Tertiary fractures, and there is a strong probabihty 
of a Hke origin for many dislocations in other parts of the subdivision. 

The principal ruptures active during Tertiary times are those separating areas of 
different elevation. Thus the Paparoa Range is bounded both on the east and the 
west by great fractures, or rather series of fractures, arranged essentially in step- 
fashion, and a similar structure prevails along the western edge of the Brunner-Victoria 
Range. A more complex structure is exhibited at decided bends in the mountain 
base-Une, where the change in direction is effected either by definite diagonal faults 
or by the ramification of fractures that in other portions of their course are relatively 
simple. The hiU groups described in a preceding chapter are also separated from the 
mountains and lowlands by faults. This is demonstrably the case in many localities, 
and is probable in many others. 

The general course of the Lower Buller fault, which Umits the Paparoa Range 
on the west, was indicated by McKay* in 1890. Webbf in 1910 described a portion of 
it as the Kongahu fault, and Morgan and BartrumJ have mapped it for nearly fifty 
miles. It enters the Reefton Subdivision apparently as a simple fracture, but soon other 
parallel breaks appear, and it becomes difficult to distinguish along which the greatest 

*Rep. of Geol. Explor. 1890-91, No. 21, 1892, p. 22. f N.Z. G.S. BuU. No. 11, 1910, p. 11. 

t N.Z. G.S. BuU. No 17, 1915, p. 62. 



60 

movement has taken place. If it be assumed, however, that the main break limits the 
Tertiary strata on the east, the Lower BuUer fault runs into the sea near Maukurunui 
Bluff. 

The faulting mentioned by Morgan* as occurring in the Seven-mile, Spring, and 
Tararu creeks is continued noi+hward along the upper valley of the Ten-mile. To 
this fault must be attributed the broken countiy of the Tafiy Claim, and in the head 
of the Punakaiki, as well as the great precipice facing the upper valley of that stream. 
This line of faulting was also traced in the Porarari and Bullock Creek, but the 
traverses of the heads of the Fox River were not pushed far enough to intersect it. 
The fault-zone, moreover, appeared to be dying out northward. 

Another fault-zone of which the displacement certainly diminishes northward is 
the Roa fault. According to Morgan^ this fault at Smoke-Ho Creek, on the boundary 
of the Reefton Subdivision, has an easterly downthrow of over 3,000 ft. This rapidly 
decreases, and apparently gives place to a westerly downthrow between Mount Hawera 
and The White Knight, a hinge fault being thus formed. The Une continued north- 
ward traverses some of the wildest country in the Paparoas, in which proofs of faulting 
are obscured by vast talus-deposits ; nevertheless, fault-indications were noted near the 
head of the Waitakere, and the line may be continued into the valley of the Ohikanui, 
which is probably a fault-line -valley. 

Morganf describes a fault that distorts strata at Blackball and Healy GuUy. In 
the lower valley of the MoonUght this fault has an easterly downthrow of at least 
2,000 ft. Farther north the displacement is distributed among several fractures, which 
diverge and ultimately become as important as the original fault, across which the 
Big or Freeth River has cut its way, while the Otututu has probably carved its upper 
vaUey along it. The fault which follows the upper valley of the Te Wharau, if not 
the same fracture, is certainly on the same zone, which again appears in the valley 
of the Blackwater (tributary of the Buller). 

A branch fault that originates from the last-mentioned fracture may be traced in 
the branches of the Freeth River, and again in the Mirfin, Rough-and-Tumble, and White- 
foord streams. Farther north no positive evidence of its presence was observed, but the 
low saddles near the heads of the Whitefoord, Maimai, and Giles creeks, the depression 
west of Mount Steele, and the vast quantities of slickensided debris discharged into the 
gorge of the Te Wharau by a smaU branch, are highly suggestive of its continued 
existence. 

Another fault of great importance also has its southern end in the basin of the 
Freeth River. This, which may be termed the Paparoa fault, acts as a peripheral fault 
along the eastern base of that range for many miles. North of the Maimai Stream 
it loses its simple character and is represented by at least two important fractures, 
which enclose a block of tilted country half a mile in width. Farther north other 
breaks with a more easterly trend appear, while the western faults seem to die out, 
the net result being a change in direction of the main dislocation. This great fault- 
zone is lost, however, beneath the gravels of the lower Inangahua, but it is probable 
that several faults at the head of Welshman Creek and on the lower valley of Pensini 
Creek belong here, and that the zone ends against the Glasgow fault.J 

This latter fault enters the Reefton Subdivision near the great bend in the Buller, 
and is readily traced as far south as Flaxbush Creek. Southward, although the sections 
along Ram and Dee creeks are good, no sign of faulting that could be referred to 
this line was observed. The downshift of the earth-block that forms the Inangahua- 
Grey valley is apparently transferred to a great fracture which separates Boundary 

* N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 13, 1911, p. 47. t Ibid., p. 45. % N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17. 1915, p. 63. 



61 

Peak from tlie rest of tlie Brunner Range. This dislocation, which may be termed 
the Boundai-y Peak fault, is easily traced as far south as Landing Creek as a double 
fracture, with about half a mile between the breaks. The zone, which has a south- 
south-west course, is interrupted by an important series of south-east-striking fractures, 
but is quite possibly represented farther south by irregular minor faults that occur in 
the ancient rocks close to the junction of the Tertiaries with the Palseozoic sediments. 

The south-east-striking fault-zone mentioned above as consisting of several sub- 
paraUel fractures runs from Larry Creek to the Waitahu Forks, leaving the subdivision 
by way of the wide valley of the south branch of that river. Southward and south- 
westward of this earth-rupture lies the relatively depressed and intensely faulted area 
forming the Reefton hills, which to the eastward is bounded by two lines of dislocation 
that flank the western bases of Mount Albert and Mount Gore respectively, and pass 
northward and southward beyond the limits of the area described. 

The Tertiary faults of the Reefton hills, although they cannot be compared in point 
of length or magnitude of throw with the major Tertiary faults which have just been 
described, are of great economic interest in that some of them shatter or displace the 
auriferous lodes of that district. They may be grouped into several well-marked 
systems, but in such an intensely faulted area there is a tendency for the fractures 
produced by the later stresses to follow previously existing planes of rupture. 

The most important system — or rather zone, for its length is many times its 
breadth — is that of which some of the fault-planes cross the head of Murray Creek, from 
which fact it may be termed the Murray Creek fault-zone. It has been traced from 
Boatman Creek to the Snowy River, a distance of over fifteen miles, while the breadth 
is rarely more than two miles. The strike is about N. 11° E., or parallel with the 
pre-Tertiary Reefton zones ; indeed, the Murray Creek zone lies immediately to the 
east of the eastern run of lodes, and may be considered to represent a reopening 
along one edge of this old fault-belt. The Miocene rocks are deeply involved in this 
belt of dislocation, and along it also occur Devonian rocks. 

Another important system of faults, which may be called the Black's Point system, 
from the powerful fault near that township, and of which most of the members have 
an east-north-easterly trend, has representatives as far south as Merrijigs. Closely 
connected with these faults, and crossing them nearly at right angles, are the faults 
that control the course of the upper tributaries of Devil Creek. This system of 
faults and their transversals have had a most detrimental effect on the exploitation 
of the auriferous lodes of the area they traverse. 

The third, or Blackwater, fault-system is considered to be formed of fractures 
subsidiary to the great Boundary Peak fault, which probably passes somewhat to the 
westward of Blackwater Township, its course now being concealed by the Recent 
gravels of the Grey Valley. The individual fracture-planes strike about N. 12° W., 
while the general course of the zone is about north-nOrth-east. 

STRUCTURE. 

The Reefton Subdivision forms part of a much larger area in Westland and Nelson 
lying to the west of the Alpine chain. Bulletins Nos. 1, 3, 6, 11, 13, and 17 (New 
Series) deal with portions of this area, but still its greater part has not received 
detailed examination. |The labours of the staff of the old Geological Survey, and 
in particular those of Mr. A. McKay, have shown that the main structaral features 
are everywhere similar. Briefly, the Reefton Subdivision consists of earth-blocks 
which by differential elevation form the uplifted blocks of the Paparoa and Victoria 
ranges, the trough of the Inangahua-Grey valley, and the shelf-like blocks intermediate 



62 

in heiglit that constitute the Reef ton, Orikaka, and Brighton uplands. The great dislo- 
cations that traverse the subdivision and separate the earth-blocks one from another 
have been described, and a brief account of the major structural units may now be 
given. 

Victoria Horst. 

The Victoria horst,* of which a portion forms the eastern part of the subdivision, 
consists of a number of elongated earth-blocks separated by fractures with north-north- 
east strike. That the various blocks comprising the horst were not elevated equally 
is undoubted, although where such major features are concerned the area examined is 
too small to furnish enough data to prove this quantitatively. The heights, 4,600 ft. 
and 4,635 ft., of mounts Curtis and Wynn, the highest points of the Brunner Range, 
may be compared with 4,081 ft. and 4,247 ft. heights on the Kirwan Range, and also 
with Mount Albert 5,069 ft., and Mount Ross 4,996 ft., peaks on the most westerly 
ridge of Victoria Range proper. The general trend of the western edge of the elevated 
area is nearly north and south, while the major faults run about north-north-east. It 
follows that the southern ends of several blocks in turn form the edge of the horst, 
and it is characteristic of each earth-block that it decreases in height as this edge 
is approached. Thus the Lyell block drops from Mount Lyell, 3,549 ft., to Trigono- 
metrical Station H, 2,525 ft. ; the Brunner block from Mount Wynn, 4,635 ft., to 
Bourke's Rock, 4,282 ft., and again to Conical Hill, 3,480 ft. ; and the Mount Albert 
block from Mount Ross, 4,996 ft., to Bald Hill, 3,898 ft. A westward warp as well as 
this southward pitch is also probable on theoretical grounds. It is certain that faulting, 
cross or oblique, accompanied the southward tilt of each block, but this is not demon- 
strable except in the case of the Brunner and Kirwan blocks, the southward extensions 
of which have been let down by a south-east-striking fault-zone and now form the 
Reefton hills or the Reefton shelf. 

Papaeoa Horst. 

The structure of the Paparoa horst is very similar to that of the Victoria horst, 
but as the whole of this structural unit has been examined in detail it is possible to 
interpret the features it presents with more confidence. Like the Victoria horst, it 
consists of a number of earth-blocks, each possessing a length of many times its breadth, 
and separated by vast north-north-east-striking diaclases.f This inevitably suggests the 
existence of cross-fractures similar to those occurrmg in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivi- 
sion. The positive geological data necessary to prove the existence of such faults is of 
the most meagre description, but on physiographical groimds the writer regards the 
statement as proved in regard to several of the blocks. Thus it is argued that a 
great fracture crosses the Paparoa Range in an east-south-east direction by way of the 
upper Waitakere valley, which is characterized by few outcrops and vast screes. It 
enters the Otututu basin along Morison Creek, a stream with a straight valley and few 
outcrops, and from its crush-belt may come the enormous slip which overburdens the 
Otututu below the junction of the Morison. To its presence may be attributed the 
abrupt southern scarp of Mount Raoulia, and the difference of height between mounts 
Epping and Beeche, Mount Micawber and The Pinnacle, mounts Faraday and Priestley. 

* According to Suess (" Das Antlitz der Erde," English translation, vol. i, 1904, p. 126), to whom the 
term is due, a horst is a ridge left between two areas of subsidence or graben. As will be subsequently 
brought out, the writer believes that the mountain- blocks of the Reefton Subdivision owe their elevation to 
direct uplift above, and not to the subsidence of, the adjacent areas. Thus it is doubtful if the use of the 
words horst and graben as applied to the earth-features here described is justifiable. The terms, however, 
have been freely used by various writers to describe similar features, and are therefore retained in the 
present publication. 

■J- A term suggested by Daubree to designate large fractures not accompanied by much relative movement. 



63 

The width of the granite rocks which here form the range is decidedly greatc north of 
this hypothetical fault than it is south of it. This implies a relative depression of the 
southern portion of the range, and, as has already been stated, this is supported by 
the topography. It is probable that other subsidiary faults exist in this locality, but 
the evidence for their occurrence is even more meagre than that detailed. It may be 
mentioned that this part of the range, though it contains peaks of higher average 
height than any other portion, yet offers the most practicable route through these 
mountains between the BuUer and Brunner gorges, in both of which localities the 
geological maps of Bulletins Nos. 17 and 13 show series of cross-faults. 

The principal mass of the Paparoa Mountains consists of a great earth-prism, of 
which a length of about twenty-nine miles lies withm the subdivision, with a width of 
about eight and ten miles respectively on the southern and northern boundaries of the 
area described. On the west the marginal dislocation is the Lower BuUer fault ; on 
the east, the great zone of fracture that, crossing from the Blackwater, traverses the 
upper valleys of the Te Wharau and Whitefoord, reaches the edge of the range north 
of the gorge of the Otututu, and from thence defines its eastern flank southward 
beyond the subdivision. The main prism is cut up into numerous smaller prisms by 
the longitudinal and transverse fractures that have already been described. The 
assemblage of earth-blocks has been elevated as a whole, although the separate blocks 
have each their individual pitch and tilt. Clinging to the main prism of the range 
are subsidiary blocks, of which the most important is that of which the southern end 
forms Mount Eaoulia (4,400 ft.). Heights lower but of a similar order are maintained 
for ten miles northward, but beyond this the height decreases — that is, the block 
pitches to the northward until it finally is covered by Tertiary strata and merges into 
the Orikaka uplands. Another subsidiary block of much less elevation lies against the 
range in the Waiwhero Survey District. Its southern toe reaches the township of 
Barrytown, while northward it extends beyond the Punakaiki. Even here, however, 
its northern pitch has greatly reduced the height of the crests, while still farther north 
it is masked by Tertiary rocks, and finally merges into the Brighton plateau. 

Inangahua-Grey GtRABEN. 

This great depression occupies a large area in the subdivision, and extends 
meridionally from one boundary to the other. A graben as commonly defined is an 
earth-trough, with a length of many times its width, that is separated by two great 
dislocations, one on either side, from the neighbouring earth-blocks, between which it has 
been let down. The Inangahua-Grey depression does not entirely conform with this 
definition, in that the limiting fractures are neither simple nor belong throughout even 
to the same zones of dislocation. It may be considered as a structure in which the 
cross-section shows step-faulting on either side of the block most deeply foundered, and 
in which the whole series of blocks pitches southward, while gravel-deposits have filled 
it to a particular contour. Thus the depression widens southward in a series of steps 
the distinctness of which depends on the amount of throw of the bounding faults, the 
warp of the intervening blocks, and the amount of denudation they have suffered 
before the deposition of the masking gravels. The graben, as here considered, is a 
feature difficult to define, which owes its existence primarily to diastrophic movements, 
but which has since been greatly modified by denudation aixd deposition. It cannot 
be doubted but that beneath the gravels and Late Tertiary beds which floor the depres- 
sion earth-blocks exist comparable in size and structure with those that form the horsts, 
although from analogy with the intermediate shelves, to be presently described, the fault- 
ing will be much less pronounced. This is strongly supported by the fact that faults 



64 

may be traced in the northern portion of the trough. In the southern portion, how- 
ever, tlie data so far collected are too meagre to permit of a statement more positive 
than that such an hypothesis is not contradicted. 

The graben crosses the northern boundary of the subdivision with a width of about 
one mile, which at Inangahua Junction has increased to over four by the southward 
pitch of what may be termed the Lyell block, and is still further augmented south- 
ward as other blocks involved by the Boundary Peak fault are covered by the gravels 
of the lowlands. At Reef ton the trough is fully six miles across, but southward it 
contracts somewhat by the injutting of a block of greywacke from the eastward. At 
Hukarere, however, the width has nearly doubled by the abrupt disappearance of the 
Mount Raoulia earth-block that as far as Hinau had formed the western boundary of 
the trough. Even before the Big River is reached the gravels begin to encroach on 
the gently southward tilting earth-block that forms the Reef ton uplands. South of 
Snowy River this is entirely hidden, and the graben loses its trough-like character in 
the wide terraced lowlands of the Ahaura and Arnold rivers, which in tarn merge into 
the coastal plain of North Westland. 

Reefton Plateau 

This great shelf, intermediate in position between the Victoria horst and the 
Inangahua-Grey graben, occupies a large part of the Reefton and Waitahu survey 
districts. It is bounded by faults on all sides save to the southward, in which direction 
it disappears beneath Recent gravel-deposits. Innumerable fault-planes traverse it in 
many directions ; within it, in fact, lie the most intensely faulted regions of the sub- 
diArision. The whole shelf may be considered as consisting of down -faulted portions of 
the Brunner and Kirwan earth-blocks, a supposition strengthened by the fact that it 
is divided by a meridionally disposed belt of dislocation — ^the Murray Creek fault-zone — 
in line with the fracture separating the above-mentioned ranges. Of these divisions, 
the eastern lies at a decidedly higher elevation than the western. At one time probably 
the whole shelf was covered with Miocene beds, but now only fault-involved fragments 
remain upon the readily denuded western portion. On the eastern portion, however, a 
large area of coal-measures in horizontal attitude still exists. 

Orikaka Plateau. 

Only a small part of this physiographic element, which is regarded as a deformed 
plateau, is within the subdivision, and this portion is probably the northern down- 
pitched end of the Mount Raoulia earth-block. Much of it is covered by Tertiary 
beds, and in this respect is analogous to its major northern part which Morgan and 
Bartrum* regard as " a distorted plateau, consisting of granite, gneiss, and Palaeozoic 
sedimentary rocks capped in most places by Tertiary coal-measures." For a fuller 
description of this physiographical unit, and for details concerning the fractures that 
traverse it, the reader is referred to the text and maps of the above-quoted publication. 

Brighton Plateau. 

The Brighton plateau-shelf is more regular by far than those already described. 
It is ten miles wide on the northern boundary of the subdivision, and this width is 
maintained to the Punakaiki River, a distance of eighteen miles, south of which point 
it gradually narrows, and finally wedges out a little north of Barrytown. On the east 

* N.Z. as. BuU. No. 17, 1915, p. 48. 




'^ '^i> 





V 



65 

the block is bounded by the Lower BuUer fault, which towards the south disturbs 
the strata for some distance from the principal fracture. The main portion of the 
. block, however, is remarkably free from decided deformations. The fault that crosses the 
Punakaiki just below its gorge appears to die out northward, or perhaps is continued 
as a zone of strain in the Umestone, marked by caves and underground watercourses. 
It is along this and another zone of strain or incipient fracture, lying about a mile and 
a half to the westward, that the depression described on a previous page* occurs. 
The Miocene strata which cap this block dip gently eastward, and the disappearance 
of the resistant middle beds beneath the weak upper layers has no doubt in part 
determined the position of this piedmont depression. This is the explanation of the 
feature evidently relied on, although not expressly stated, by Bartrum in his paper 
" The Geological History of the Westport-Charleston High-level Terraces,"| but the 
limestone cliffs that fringe its western edge at many places are not thereby adequately 
accounted for. 

The western edge of the Brighton block is also undoubtedly limited by a line of 
dislocation, which is probably comparable to the Lower BuUer fracture. Minor faults 
belonging to this zone were observed north of St. Kilda and near the mouth of the 
Fox River, and again at Limestone Creek. The general straightness of the coast-line 
north of Cave Point, and its parallelism with the course of the great fractures of the 
subdivision, strongly support this view. Southward of the Punakaiki, where the 
resistant limestone disappears, the trend of the coast changes ; but this alteration is 
readily explained by the gentle southerly pitch of the block bringing the weak upper 
beds of the Miocene to sea-level, and exposing them to marine erosion. It should be 
noted that the trend of the coast again alters as soon as Maukurunui Bluff is reached, 
where the hard gre3rwacke of the Paparoa Range first reaches the shore. That 
such an elongated earth-block should be free from cross-faulting is remarkable, but 
no evidence of transverse fractures could be found. The sti-ucture is further described 
on a later page, where it is pointed out that the block is characterized by an 
undulatory structure along its length, together with a southward pitch and eastward 
tilt. 

SCENERY IN RELATION TO STRUCTURAL FEATURES. 

In the Reef ton Subdivision the major elements of the scenery are determined by 
the underlying structure. Thus the mountains and the hill country have been sculp- 
tured from great earth-blocks, while the lowlands are formed of gravels that mask 
stiU others. To this structure the ranges owe the straightness of their base-lines, the 
abrupt convexity of their flanks, and the height-equality of their ridges, while the 
progressive drop of the tops of hiU groups is controlled by the same cause. Subaerial 
denudation acting through long years upon rocks differing greatly in nature and 
attitude has produced a great diversity of land-form. The massive prisms of granite 
from which some of the mountain-blocks have been carved wear doWn into long roof-like 
ridges, that break into separate pyramids and later form insecurely piled rock spires. 
Gneiss, again, produces at first elongated asymmetrical dome-shaped masses, from which 
in process of time are sculptured fantastic pinnacles and savage crags. The grey- 
wackes form irregular mountains of far gentler outline, while the grits and conglomerates 
of the coal-measures give rise to great precipices, of which that facing the upper 
valley of the Punakaiki is the best example. The calcareous strata produce land- 
forms which vary with the attitude of the rock. The highly tilted beds give steep 
slopes, the moderately inclined long escarpments, and the gently dipping and hori- 



* See p. 42. f Trans., vol. xlvi, 1014, pp. 255-262. 

5— Reef ton. 



fifi 

zontally disposed have produced the narrow canons and stupendous clifEs of the coastal 
region. Other Tertiai-y rocks are of so weak a nature that they have been either 
entirely planed down or cut into hiUy labyrinths of low elevation. In spite of the 
great variety of detail thus introduced into the landscape, and the fact that all 
but the mountain-crests are covered by luxuriant vegetation, the monotony and 
harsh lines of the major features tend to produce weariness even for the most splendid 
scenery the district can offer. 

The effects of the local glaciation, which has everywhere modified the forms of the 
highest mountains, have not hitherto been considered. This factor has had a most 
powerful influence in fashioning the great peak precipices and serrate ridges which abound 
in both the Victoria and Paparoa ranges. It seems probable that the head-waU 
recession of the many cirques, with formation of chffs, which in the subdivision are 
rivalled only by fault-line scarps and sea-cliffs, has been aided by the natural jointing 
of the thick gneissic layers. Such a structure must have added to the quarrying-power 
of the frost. Certain it is that gneissic peaks are far more sharp and grotesque in 
profile than the granite peaks of corresponding height, and it is probable that 
this great variation in form can have been caused only by the difference of internal 
rock-structure being brought out and exaggerated by glacial denudation. 

The traveller entering the Inangahua valley by way of the BuUer Gorge or by 
the equally beautiful but less-known Lyell Gorge has long been confined within narrow 
walls, and is relieved by the wide view of wooded lowlands backed by the far-stretching 
mountain rampart. At his feet the brown flood of the Inangahua swings through 
boulder beaches that, glittering snow-white in the sun, contrast strikingly with the 
swirling foam-flecked waters of the river. As he proceeds southwards the combina- 
tions of the elements that make up the foreground are soon exhausted, while the 
mountain-wall ever preserves its integrity. No dominant peak towers above its 
feUows, and the sense of height is lost even before the range begins to recede from 
the observer. Near the Landing Bridge the Paparoas come into view, and as they 
lie nearer at hand their crest is less monotonous than that of the eastern range. 
If the light fall suitably each valley may be picked out, and half-way up their green 
flanks may be traced a hne of semi-detached hiUs that are sculptured from a rock- 
plate separated by a fracture-zone from the main range. As one proceeds southward 
the bare terraces seen from Fern Flat bring a welcome change of foreground, but 
this type of scenery is better exemphfied in the vaUey of the Mawheraiti. But 
here also the mountain background, though by no means so regular as in the Inangahua 
basin, soon brings weariness by reason of the harsh abruptness of the lines in which 
it rises from the lowlands, and the total absence of the sweeping catenary curves so 
pleasing and restful to the eye. 

A well-graded saddle-track winding through luxuriant beech forest gives easy 
access to the summit of Kirwan's HiU. From this coign of vantage the wide lower 
valley of the Inangahua lies spread out as on a map. The Paparoas, the crests 
of which are at nearly the same height as the observer, take on the appearance of 
rocky upland-downs, above which the rugged mass of Mount Uriah alone rises. To the 
eastward a sea of bare broken peaks fills the field of view, while on the far horizon 
the Spenser Eange breaks in a hne of snowy foam. The metaphor is singularly 
appropriate, for no great mountain-mass stands pre-eminent above its fellows, and 
aU are equal — enormous rock-waves frozen at the instant of their extremest turbulence. 
In summer the greys and buffs of the crags, the yellows and russets of the alpine 
meadows, and the dull greens of the climbing forest blend in one harmonious whole. 
In winter icy winds sweep over the mountains, which shiver beneath snow-mantles 
that reach far down their shoulders. 




[Photo hijW. Sherlock. 
Plate VII. — Intermontane Valley of the Inangahua River. 



Face p. 67.] 



67 

Other aspects of the high country are presented from the intermontane valleys, each 
of which has a charm of its own. The easily accessible Inangahua is in many ways 
typical of all, and shows innumerable combinations of boulder-strewn river-bed and 
native bush backed by great rock precipices and pyramidal peaks. In the Waitahu 
the vertical sandstone cliffs of coal-measures rising high above the shaggy forest of the 
middle valley give variety. Larry Creek, in a succession of rapids and rock-bound 
pools of limpid emerald-tinted water, before reaching the lowlands plunges through a 
narrow gorge deeply cut in solid granite. Perhaps the finest scenery of all is to be 
found in the upper Otututu and the Gordon, where the valley-walls are ice-worn cliffs 
topped by fantastic mountain-crests. Another type of river scenery is furnished by 
the limestone canons of the coastal streams. As one travels from the coast up the 
Eox the white ramparts, at first widely flared, slowly approach until there is barely 
room for river and track between the towering cliffs. Above the lower forks the 
fissure contracts still more, so that no track can be maintained, and the stream 
swings from one great wall to the other. It is here, where distance can blur no 
detail, that the architectural effect is most marked. Each course of the well-bedded 
rock is plainly shown ; the wall swells gently forward between widely spaced minor 
joints, while the regular major joint-planes are marked by incurving alcoves roofed 
by symmetrical domes, enriched with many quaint designs of beaded mouldings, the 
gift of the slow-falling drops. Soon the Paparoas come into the narrow field of view, 
and the traveller sees through a vista of bush-crowned cliffs the most rugged mountains 
of the range stand sharp against the sky. 

That portion of the Buller Gorge within the subdivision owes its chief charm to 
the river having cut its way through a similar area of limestone. The scene is here 
enhanced by the broad hurrying flood, of which the very width dwarfs the heights of 
the bluffs even where these drop sheer to the water's edge. 

The nature of the scenery of the shore-line may be inferred from the descriptions 
already given. The hard Early Tertiary conglomerate that forms the land-margin in 
the south of the subdivision has produced massive vertical cliffs. Numerous fantastic 
stacks — ^the Motukiakia Islands — rise from the rock platform cut by the waves that 
at high tide sweep the base of the main cliff. In sharp contrast with the naked faces 
just mentioned are the steep hillsides clothed with matted scrub that next succeed, 
and indicate the underlying greywacke. Where limestone and calcareous sandstone form 
the coast the chief interest of the scenery is due to the architectural effects, which in 
turn are controlled by the horizontal bedding of the rocks. Layers differing in resisting- 
power alternate, so that the appearance of coursed masonry in infinitely varied design 
characterizes the cliffs. In close proximity to the artificial-looking walls occur bold 
savage headlands of granite and gneiss, continued seaward by rock pinnacles and reefs 
half-awash. Between the capes are little coves, where gravel is ground to sand by 
the rhythmic swing of waves that, fresh from the Southern Ocean, here take the land 



5* — Beefton. 



68 



CHAPTER V. 



GBNBEAL GEOLOGY. 



Page. 

Outline of Geology . . . . . . 68 

Aorere Series . . . . . . . . 69 

Distribution . . . . . . . . 69 

Structure . . . . . . . . 69 

Stratigraphical Succession and Condi- 
tions of Deposition. . . . . . 70 

Petrology . . . . . . . . 70 

Age and Correlation . . . . . . 71 

Devonian Series . . . . . . 73 

Distribution and Structure . . . 73 
Stratigraphical Succession and Con- 
ditions of Deposition . . . . 73 

The Relationship of the Devonian and 

Aorere Rocks . . . . . . 74 

Age and Correlation . . . . . . 78 

Palaeontology . . . . . . 79 

Mawheranui Series . . . . . . 79 

Distribution and Structure . . . . 80 

Age and Correlation . . . . . . 81 

Stratigraphical Succession and Con- 
ditions of Deposition . . . . 81 

Greymouth (or Miocene) Series . . . . 83 

Distribution. . . . . . . . 83 

Structure . . . . . . . . 85 

Stratigraphical Succession and Con- 
ditions of Deposition . . . . 86 

Relationship of the Cobden Limestone 

and Overlying Beds . . . . 89 



Greymouth (or Miocene) Series — continued. 
Age and Correlation . . 
Palaeontology 
Pleistocene and Recent Deposits . . 
Pleistocene Deposits . . 

Distribution 

Nature of the Gravels and Conditions 
of Deposition 

Age and Correlation 
Recent Deposits 

Marine Beds 

Fluviatile Gravels . . 

Glacial and Fluvio-glacial Deposits 

Sand-dunes 

Talus 
Igneous Rocks 
Distribution. . 
Petrology and Composition 

Plutonic Rocks and Acid Dykes 

Feldspar-porphyrite 

Lamprophyres 

Camptonites and Basalts 

Hornblende Rock . . 

Diabases . . 

Homblende-granulite 
Analyses 

Periods and Directions of Earth-move 
ments 



Page. 

92 
92 
94 
95 
95 

96 
98 
99 
99 
100 
101 
101 
101 
101 
101 
106 
106 
106 
107 
107 
108 
108 
109 
109 

111 



OUTLINE OF GEOLOGY. 

The Reefton Subdivision forms part of the foreland that resisted the great thrust 
from the south-east that produced the Southern Alps. This foreland includes that 
portion of Nelson lying to the wesi; of the Alpine chain, an area that stretches into 
Westland as far south as the Mikonui Subdivision. Probably also the plutonic complex 
of western Otago, with its local areas of Palaeozoic sediments, forms a part, the inter- 
vening portion being represented by small unfoundered areas, of which that near Lake 
Mapourika is typical. 

The oldest rocks of the subdivision are sharply folded -greywackes and argillites, 
which contain no fossils, and of which the exact age is therefore uncertain. There 
is, however, little doubt but that they underlie quartzites, shales, and limestones 
containing fossils that prove a Devonian age. The greywackes and argillites may 
therefore be classed as Silurian or Ordovician, 'and perhaps beds of both ages go to 
make up the vast thickness of unfossiliferous beds here represented. The Devonian and 
pre-Devonian beds form a well-marked group, differing from all the other rocks of the 
subdivision in that they alone have been strongly folded. The greywackes and argillites 
may be correlated with the Kanieri Series* of Bulletin No. 1, with the Greenland 
Series of Bulletins Nos. 6 and 13, and with the Aorere Series of Bulletins Nos. 3, 11, 
and 17. 

As is the case in the areas described in the above-mentioned bulletins, these rocks 
in the Reefton Subdivision have been intruded by granitic rocks which have been laid 
bare by denudation, and now occupy great areas, especially in the highlands. Younger 



* The Kanieri Series of Hutton, Hector, and McKay is a totally different formation of Miocene age. 
name, of course, has priority in this connection. 



The 



69 

than the acidic rocks are innumerable auriferous - quartz lodes which have been 
extensively mined near Reefton, and from the degradation of which most of the alluvial 
gold of the subdivision has been derived. 

Tertiary strata are well represented in the area under review by rocks of Eocene 
age, and again by great deposits ranging from the Miocene into the Pliocene. Later 
still are gravels — ^marine, glacial, and fluviatile — ^which overlie all older rocks unconform- 
ably, and bring the geological record down to the present day. 



AORERE SERIES. 
Distribution. 

The rocks of the Aorere (or Greenland) Series cover 226 square miles in the Reefton 
Subdivision. They are exposed in two large blocks, in connection with each of which 
are several small detached areas. There is little doubt from their distribution that 
at one time the subdivision formed a portion of a much larger proAdnce over which 
these rocks were deposited, a province that in efiect coincides with the west Nelson 
foreland mentioned above. 

The largest continuous area of Aorere rocks is developed along the eastern edge 
of the Inangahua-Grey graben. It commences as a narrow wedge at Rough Stream 
(Inangahua Survey District), while south of Larry Creek it swells out to a breadth 
of five miles, a width maintained until the formation is hidden by the gravels of the 
Big Grey. Over this area occur patches of Devonian and Miocene rocks, often of 
considerable size, and in it occur granitic bosses irregularly disclosed by denudation. 
South of the Big Grey, Aorere strata outcrop in the Clarke River, and again 
appear at Bell Hill, fifteen miles south of the subdivision, an occurrence that links 
them with the isolated patches noted on the flanks of the Hohonu Range.* North- 
ward along the Brunner Range are two small areas, the one at the head of Flaxbush 
Creek and the other forming part of the point of land at the great bend of the Buller, 
both of which are portions of the larger mass of these rocks in which the quartz veins 
of Lyell and New creeks occur. Closely connected with these and the greywackes 
of the Orikaka basin is a small patch of Palaeozoic sediments that outcrops along 
the Buller below Liangahua Junction, and extends some distance up Welshman Creek. 
This may be considered a roof-pendant of the vast batholith on which it rests. 

The other large area of Aorere rocks forms the southern end of the Paparoa Range, 
so far as these mountains are developed within the subdivision. The rocks here are 
a direct continuation of the Greenland beds of the Greymouth Subdivision. The 
small patch of greywacke lying in the basin of Dilemma Creek, a branch of the Fox 
River, must be regarded as a fragment, protected from denudation by involvement in 
the Lower Buller fault-zone. Probably the greywacke rubble noted in the upper valley 
of the Waitakere has been derived from a patch with a similar origin. 

Structure. 

Everywhere the rocks of the Aorere Series stand at high angles, and the writer 
knows of no large area of these beds that has not been aftected by powerful faults. 
The strata always seem to have been in the zone of fracture, and the folding which 
has undoubtedly taken place has been to such an extent accompanied by contem- 
poraneous fracturing, and further complicated by later faulting, as to render the 
determination of the direction of the foldings a matter of extreme difficulty. Li the 

* N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 13, 1911, p. 49, and map of Hohonu Survey District. 



70 

area flanking the Brunner- Victoria Range, if the strikes and dips in the intensely 
faulted Reefton zones and in the immediate proximity of other powerful dislocations 
be ignored, the strikes as a whole vary between 10° and 25° east of north, while the 
dips are preponderatingly westerly. These rocks, however, in the narrow strip that 
forms the northern portion of the exposure, have a strike of 10° west of north and 
an easterly dip. The writer suggests that the original plication in this portion of the 
subdivision was in the form of a great monoclinal flexure striking about 15° east of 
north. The Palseozoic strata of the Paparoa Range exhibit strikes approximately 
at right angles to those of the beds of the Reefton area, the strike of disturbed 
rocks near fault-zones being ignored. Near the southern boundary of the subdivision 
a strike of 60° west of north, with a northerly dip, is predominant, while farther 
north the strikes vary greatly, but are generally west of north, although to a smaller 
amount. 

Stratigraphical Succession and Conditions of Deposition. 

The rocks of this great series consist chiefly of medium-grained greywacke. Coarser 
layers deserving the name of grit are quite rare, but fine greywacke grading into 
argillite is common, and forms thin beds, locally called " slate," separating the massive 
layers of coarser material or "sandstone." In the Reefton area the argillite bands are 
most prominent along the western portion of the hills, a distribution suggesting that 
the upper strata were, on the whole, laid down in quieter or deeper water than the 
lower. This conforms with the observations of Morgan* in respect to the rocks at 
Mount Greenland, near Ross. Again, in a general way what may be termed the 
Paparoa area contains decidedly fewer argillaceous members than even the lower beds 
of the Reefton area. This indicates that the land area that supplied the spoil lay 
to the westward. 

The nature of the rocks, the complete absence of fossils, the alternation of beds of 
fine and coarse material, and the occurrence of ripple-marks in the greywacke indicate 
that deposition took place in fairly shallow water, and that the supply of waste 
was abundant. The fact that the alternation of argillite and greywacke is. some- 
times rapid suggests water shallow enough to permit of the loose deposits on the 
sea-bottom being readily agitated by the waves. The sorting of the waste was not 
perfect ; thus even in the rocks formed of the coarser material argillaceous matter is 
present. All these facts are most readily explained on the assumption that the 
beds were laid down under off-shore conditions, and that the loose material, as a 
whole, had not travelled along the coast far enough to be well sorted. Further, the 
great thickness of these rocks implies the presence of a large land-mass. 

Petrology. 

The petrological nature of these rocks has already been adequately discussed by Bell 
and Fraser,t and Morgan,f and for a description of the various rock-types the reader is 
referred to their reports. As in the North Westland Division, the rocks are scarcely 
affected by regional metamorphism, while the aureole around the granite stocks is 
nowhere more than a quarter of a mile in width, and generally much less. The rock 
jiext the granite is usually quartz-mica hornfels, though variety is occasionally introduced 
by the occurrence of cordierite. Knotted schist is developed farther from the contact, 
and this grades into micaceous greywacke and argillite, and finally into the ordinary rocks 
of the series, normal in character save for a slight induration. 

* N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 6, 1908, p. 98. t N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 1, 1906, p. 46. J N.Z. G.S. BuU. 

No. 6, 1908, p. 97 et seq. 



71 

The chemical composition of the rocks is as under, analyses Irom Bulletin No. 6 
being inserted for comparison : — 





(1.) 


(2.) 


(3.) 


(4.) 


(5.) 


(6.) 


(7.) 


Silica (SiOJ . . 


74-91 


71-80 


70-81 


67-90 


55-80 


53-59 


51-43 


Titanium dioxide (TiOg) 


0-88 


0-60 


0-58 


0-98 


0-89 


1-10 


0-95 


Alumina (AlgOg) 


10-16 


12-54 


12-53 


14-62 


21-79 


21-95 


20-37 


Ferric oxide (FcaOg) 


2-18 


0-48 


nil 


1-95 


1-04 


3-58 


2-32 


Ferrous oxide (FeO) 


2-74 


4-12 


5-18 


2-16 


6-26 


4-97 


5-94 


Manganous oxide (MnO) 


0-05 


0-25 


0-62 


0-02 


0-20 


0-04 


0-04 


Lime (CaO) 


0-83 


3-51 


1-96 


0-55 


0-25 


0-13 


0-41 


Magnesia (MaO) 


1-38 


2-28 


2-84 


1-32 


4-57 


2-86 


2-77 


Potash (K2O) . . 


2-24 


2-27 


4-31 


4-07 


4-96 


5-64 


6-40 


Soda (Na^O) . . 


1-38 


1-17 


0-10 


0-64 


1-15 


0-63 


0-53 


Phosphoric anhydride (PgOg) 


0-19 


0-18 


n.d. 


0-35 


0-15 


0-15 


0-08 


Sulphur trioxide (SO 3) . . 


0-07 


0-28 


n.d. 


n.d. 


0-10 


0-12 


0-26 


Carbon dioxide (CO 2) 


0-89 


0-05 


0-10 


0-38 


nil 


nil 


5-88 


Water below 100° C. 


0-19 


0-25 


[ 0-77 


1 0-13 


0-25 


0-41 


0-11 


Combined water and organic matter 


1-94 


0-55 


1 2-41 


2-91 


5-06 


3-05 


Iron as pyrites (Fe) 


. . 


. . 




1-21 


, . 


. . 


. . 


Sulphur as pyrites (S) . . 








1-08 




, . 




Arsenic as pyrites (As) . . 


-- 


-- 


-- 


0-72 


-• 




-- 


Totals .. 


100-03 


100-33 


99-80 


100-49 


100-32 


100-23 


100-54 



(1 .) Greywacke near junction of Boatman and Topfer creeks. 

(2.) Micaceous greywacke (highly altered) from Waitaha Sugarloaf. 

(3.) Micaceous greywacke from Flat Creek, Mount Rangitoto. 

(4.) Country rock, Blackwater Mine, altered by metasomatism. 

(5.) Argillite from Cedar Creek Track. 

(6.) Argillite near junction of Boatman and Topfer creeks. 

(7.) Country rock, Garden Gully, altered by metasomatism. 

Nos. (2), (3), and (5) quoted from Bulletin No. 6 (New Series), page 101. 



Age and Correlation. 

^ Von Haast* was the first geologist to examine the rocks of this series, which he 
observed near the Big Grey - Alexander junction, and again at Maukurunui Point, on the 
coast-line. In Hochstetter and Petermann's atlas of New Zealand")" the map of the 
Pro"vince of Nelson, in great part compiled from information obtained by von Haast, 
shows these rocks as belonging to the Trias-Jura. All writers are agreed in correlating 
the Reefton greywacke and argillite with the similar rocks of the Paparoa Range and 
Mount Greenland, but when beds farther afield are considered differences of opinion 
prevail. Coxf and McKay§ placed them in the Carboniferous, and correlated them with 
the Maitai rocks of Nelson and the Alpine chain. Park maps them as from Carboniferous 
to Ordovician, but states that " there is nothing to show that they do not belong to 
the great Hokonui System of Permo-Jurassic age."|| He seems, however, to favour a 

* Haast, Julius von : " Report of a Topographical and Geological Exploration of the Western Districts 
of the Nelson Province, New Zealand," 1861, pp. 101, 107, and 108. 

t Hochstetter, P. von, and Petermann, A. : " Geological and Topographical Atlas of New Zealand," 
1864, tafel 6. 

X Cox, S. Herbert : " Report on Westland District." Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1874-76, No. 9, 1877, 
p. 77. 

§ McKay, Alex. : " On the Geology of the Reefton District." Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1882, No. 15, 
1883, p. 131. 

II Park, James : " The Geology of New Zealand," 1910, pp. 81, 371. 



72 



Silurian age. Marshall* also places this great series in his Maitai System, and maps it 
as Triassic. These correlations are all based on lithographical resemblances between the 
Reef ton rocks and the Maitais, and not upon internal evidence. McKay reports the 
occurrence of the fossil annelid Torlessia mackayi in these strata at the Twelve-mile, f 
south of Barrytown, but the present writer could find no trace of this or any other 
fossil in any locality. Morgan, J in discussing the age of the Greenland rocks of the 
Mikonui and Greymouth§ subdivisions, and Morgan and Bartrum, in the case of the 
Buller-Mokihinui|| Subdivision, are strongly inclined to consider the strata as ol 
Ordovician age. The present writer believes the rocks to be pre-Devonian in age, and 
on a later page will set forth the reason for this opinion. 

It must also be pointed out that although the sequence of these rocks resembles 
that of the strata of the main ranges of New Zealand, and the rocks themselves are 
similar in a general way, there are some lithological differences. These, though plain 
enough to the eye, are not easy to describe. The unaltered rocks of Reefton district 
are characterized by a rather greener tint, and are decidedly less prone to weathering 
than those of say, Wellington, and this is especially the case along the shore-line. 
Again, where the beds have been strongly faulted the greater abundance of carbonaceous 
material in the Maitai rocks is manifested by a decidedly greater prominence of graphitic 
surfaces. The rocks are, so far as chemical composition goes, very similar to those of 
the Wellington District, as may be ascertained by comparison with the analyses below. 
The chief differences appear to lie in the decidedly higher soda-content and slightly 
higher iron-content of the Wellington rocks, combined with lower potash and magnesia 
percentages. 





(1-) 


(2.) 


(3.) 


(4.) 


(5.) 


Silica (SiOa) 


70-75 


70-20 


66-10 


58-70 


57-89 


Titanium dioxide (TiOg) 


0-62 


0-66 


1-50 


0-93 


1-00 


Alumina (AlgOg) . . 


12-30 


13-53 


14-55 


18-29 


19-03 


Ferric oxide (Fe^Os) 


2-72 


1-68 • 


0-40 


1-99 


4-48 


Ferrous oxide (FeO) 


2-74 


3-24 


4-20 


6-03 


2-88 


Manganous oxide (MnO) 


0-06 


n.d. 


0-25 


n.d. 


0-04 


Lime (CaO) 


1-90 


1-80 


2-95 


1-30 


0-16 


Magnesia (MgO) 


1-22 


1-48 


0-30 


2-96 


1-47 


Potash (KjO) 


2-48 


3-18 


1-07 


3-30 


4-21 


Soda (Na^O) 


3-18 


2-04 


3-25 


2-63 


2-02 


Phosphoric anhydride (P 2 Og) 


0-16 


n.d. 


0-37 


n.d. 


0-26 


Sulphur trioxide (SO 3) 


0-18 


n.d. 


0-34 


n.d. 


0-11 


Carbon dioxide (CO 2) 


nil 


n.d. 


0-43 


n.d. 


nil 


Water below 100° C. 


0-16 


n.d. 


0-80 


n.d. 


1-15 


Ignition loss 


1-79 


2-03 


2-71 


4-11 


5-65 


Totals 


100-26 


99-84 


99-22 


100-24 


100-35 



(1.) Greywacke, stone-quarry. Breaker Bay, Wellington Harbour. 

(2.) Grey argillite, Red Rock Point, Cook Strait, near WelUngton. 

(3.) Greywacke, Tinakori North quarry, Wellington. 

(4.) Green slate, Red Rock Point, near Wellington. 

(5.) Argillite, Point Arthur, south of Muritai, Wellington Harbour. 

* Marshall, P. : " Geology of New Zealand," 1912, p. 151 ; also " New Zealand and Adjacent Islands," 
1912, p. 15. Reprinted from the " Handbuch der regionalen Geologie," 5 Heft (Band vii, Abtielung 1). 

t McKay, A. : " On the Geology of the Reefton District, Inangahua County." Rep. Geol. Explor. 
during 1882, No. 16, 1883, p. 131. 

+ N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 6, 1908, p. 69. 

§ N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 13, 1911, p. 49. 

II N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17, 1915, p. 68. 



73 

- DEVONIANJiSERIBS. 

Distribution and Structure. 

Eocks of a Devonian age cover a very limited area in the Reefton Subdivision, in 
all three and a half square miles, and occur only in a zone of intensely faulted country 
from Boatman Creek to Big River. The largest area stretches from south of Boatman 
Creek to beyond Rainy Creek, a distance of eight miles, and has an average width of less 
than half a mile. A small area occurs at the head of Golden Lead Creek, but does not 
appear to reach the small branch of the Big River immediately to the south, although 
the rocks outcrop beyond the divide between the two streams. Connected with this 
patch is a narrow lens exposed along a fault m Willis Creek, and again on the Progress 
water-race just south of Deep Creek. 

In structure the Devonian rocks resemble the older greywacke and argillite, in that 
the beds are always steeply dipping. No definite folds have been recognized, and the 
rocks are traversed by numerous faults. 

Stratigraphical Succession and Conditions of Deposition. 

The Devonian beds contain numerous lithological types — greywacke, argillite, shale, 
limestone, quartzite, and sandstone. Sections are fairly well exposed, and it would be 
thought that with such diverse rock-species no difficulty would be encountered in arriving 
at definite conclusions in regard to the succession of the beds and their thickness. Such, 
however, is not the case, for the many faults militate against precision and render 
difficult even the determination of the proper sequence. The lowest beds are exposed 
along the tracks leading from the Murray Creek saddle into the Waitahu valley. They 
consist of fine-grained pale-green argillite or shale which readily weathers to various 
shades of red, and occasionally contains bands of light-coloured greywacke. These grade 
upward through fine argillaceous sandstone into white even-grained quartzite, occasionally 
containing bands of argillite which stain the neighbouring beds a flesh colour. In another 
portion of the section here exposed the quartzite is seen to become calcareous, and 
finally passes into arenaceous limestone with a bed of pure coralline rock intercalated 
between its layers. The leaching by surface waters of the arenaceous limestone changes 
this rock into a pale buff-coloured, rather incoherent sandstone. In this section the thick- 
nesses of the various beds are as follow : Lower argillite, 300 ft. ; quartzite and calcareous 
sandstone, 300 ft. ; arenaceous and coralline limestone, 600 ft. Another section along the 
north bank of the Inangahua shows at least 1,000 ft. of quartzite that passes upward 
through light-coloured siliceous shale into an impure limestone, which is followed by a 
structureless black mudstone and a layer of coralline limestone. Here the quartzite ui 
its lower portion frequently contains irregular black markings, and is broken by several 
unimportant strike-faults. In Lankey Creek the quartzite is not nearly so thick ; it 
grades downward into argillite and upward into limestone. Intercalated with it, m 
addition, is a bed of black structureless mudstone which contains much pyrite, from the 
decomposition of which iron and aluminium sulphates result, the rock being locally known 
as " alum shale." This band is at least 40 ft. thick, and m it are lenses of calcareous 
matter that are probably concretionary. The underlying rock consists of narrow bands 
of quartzite — say, an inch thick — separated by thin layers of black material apparently 
similar to the overlying "alum shale." Seemingly overlying the limestone of this locality 
are argillite and greywacke containing Devonian fossils, but otherwise indistinguishable 
from the beds of the Aorere Series so abundantly developed in the subdivision. This 
locality, however, is traversed by a powerful fault, and the true position and thickness 
of the rocks are matters of doubt. Similar argillite occurs in connection with the 



74 

intensely faulted Devonian rocks of Eainy Creek, and since they are there in tlie same 
relative position it is probable that they are part of the general succession and overlie 
the limestone. At Eainy Creek also occurs the black structureless mudstone. On the 
ridge between Boatman Creek and the Waitahu the Devonian rocks seem to be repre- 
sented only by quartzite, which also forms the main portion of the Golden Lead Creek 
area. 

The diverse rock-types represented in the sequence, and their rapid alternation in 
some localities, show that the conditions of deposition quickly changed. This indicates 
accumulation close to an ancient short-line, a suggestion that finds support in the 
obvious lensoid shape of the beds. Again, it should be noted that the purest limestone 
layers are always largely coralline, and that the impure calcareous rocks consist of the 
remains of crinoids and shallow-water brachiopods mixed with sand. In the lower 
quartzite exposed along the north bank of the Inangahua the irregular carbonaceous 
streaks are certainly plant-remains, and the black carbonaceous mudstone and the layers 
of similar material interleaved with the quartzite of Lankey Creek probably represent the 
deposits of an ancient littoral lagoon. The argillite and greywacke overlying the lime- 
stone indicate ofi-shore conditions, but the incompleteness of the record in this part of 
the sequence does not permit of further speculation on this point. It is not known 
upon what beds the argillites and greywackes underlying the quartzite rest. These are 
decidedly tuffaceous in appearance, and perhaps are the equivalents in this locality of 
the Te Anau breccias and aphanitic sandstones of Hector, McKay, and Park. 

The Kelationship op the Devonian and Aoeere Kocks. 

The relationship of the Devonian and Aorere rocks is a matter of great economic 
as well as theoretical importance. For it is well known that metalliferous lodes when 
passing from one formation into another frequently change in character, or perhaps 
die out altogether. Concerning this point the Eeefton district afiords no evidence, since 
there is no known instance of a lode passing from the argillite and greywacke, that 
form the comitry of the quartz veins, into the beds of the Devonian Series. In fact, 
as McKay pointed out many years ago, no auriferous vein is known to occur in the 
Devonian strata at all. The possibility of these latter rocks underlying the lode- 
country can be regarded only with uneasiness by those interested in deep mining in 
the Reef ton field. Again, the correct interpretation of the evidence presented in the 
Reefton hills will fix within narrow limits the age of the great rock-sequence termed 
in this report the Aorere Series. It is for these reasons that the reader's indulgence 
is craved for the lengthy argument that follows. 

Hector* in 1873 made a cursory examination of some of the sections, and 
tentatively expressed the opinion that the Devonian rocks underlay the greywacke 
and argillite containing the auriferous lodes. Cox,f from observations made in 1875, 
considered that the Devonian strata passed unconformably beneath the auriferous 
series, which he correlated with the Maitai Series. Before this, however, in 1874, 
McKayJ had arrived at the same conclusion. This geologist re-examined the sections 
with Cox in 1875 and again in 1882, and in his report of 1883§ elaborates his views 
and describes in considerable detail the sections on which he relied. In effect, he 
considers that the Devonian rocks outcrop along the crest of an irregular anticline 

* Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1873-74, No. 8, 1877, pp. xiv, 86. 

t Cox, S. Herbert : " Report on Westland District." Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1874-76, No. 9, 1877, 
pp. 74, 75. 

J McKay, Alex. : " Reports relative to the Collections of Fossils made on the West Coast District, South 
Island." Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1873-74, No. 8, 1877, pp. 97 et seq. 

§ McKay, Alex. : " On the Geology of the Reefton District." Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1882, No. 15, 
1883, pp. 105 et seq. 



75 

which plunges both north and south, a structure that causes the disappearance of the 
fossiliferous rocks beneath those of the auriferous series. The present writer, on the 
other hand, believes that they are involved along a great fault-zone, and that depression 
has preserved from denudation these few remaining fragments of a once widespread 
sheet. The sections on which McKay relied to prove the superposition of the auriferous 
rocks usually afford doubtful evidence, in that the actual contact of the two formations 
was seen in one case only. On the other hand, they usually afford positive evidence 
of faulting. On these points, however, the following faithful descriptions by McKay 
may be allowed to speak for themselves. Thus, in describing the Rainy Creek section 
he states, " The coal-beds which cap both the auriferous and fossiliferous rock suddenly 
dip at a very high angle, forming a deep synclinal trough, obscuring what would 
otherwise have been the junction between the fossiliferous and northern division of 
the auriferous rocks which succeed the coal and dip away to the west "* ; and again, 
in speaking of the same section, " it would seem that here there is an inversion of 
the Devonian beds."t In describing the section exposed along the right bank of 
the Inangahua River he states, " The junction to the east is obscured, but this rock 
[i.e., grey quartzite] crops out close to the overlying sandstones and slates which 
form the eastern belt of auriferous country "J ; and again, in speaking of the western 
boundary of this section, " Parallel to this ridge [i.e., of cherts and limestones], and on 
its western side, is a deep narrow valley, scooped out of the overlying slates [Devonian] 
and the rocks of the auriferous series, the junction of the two being apparently 
obscured by slope and creek deposits. "§ Of the Lankey Creek section he says, " In 
the section across this portion of the Devonian belt the rocks are much disturbed, 
highly contorted, and often locally inverted "|| ; and again, " I got bearings of the 
two rocks [Devonian and auriferous series] within a chain of each other, but the 
absolute junction was obscured, it taking place in a gully."^ 

In regard to the section at the head of Murray Creek, McKay's descriptions do 
not indicate faulting. The eastern edge of the section in the Waitahu is mentioned 
by McKay thus : " The southern side of this last ridge was succeeded by cherts, and 
here for half a mile the section was lost. Then up the river appeared the auriferous 
sandstones and silky slates dipping west, though at a very high angle."** McKay 
nowhere describes the western junction in this section of the Devonian with the 
auriferous series. Speaking in general of the eastern junction of the Devonian and 
auriferous rocks he says, " I could never get at the junction of the eastern auriferous 
rocks with the cherts east of the fossiliferous belt."ff From the above quotations it 
will be manifest that McKay relied on the general distribution and structure of the 
two series for his belief of the inferior position of the Devonian beds. At only one 
place — i.e., Murray Creek — does he assert that the cherts come from beneath the 
auriferous rocks.ff 

The present writer has examined all the sections described by McKay, as well as 
others unknown at the time of his visit, and has found in every case that the junctions 
of the Devonian and Aorere rocks are either obscure or undoubted fault-planes. Thus 
the Rainy Creek section exposes less than 20 chains of steeply dipping Devonian 
beds, including also two fragments of Miocene rocks, and flanked on the west by 
vertical Miocene grits that in a few chains are followed by crushed greywacke. The 



* McKay, Alex. : " Reports relative to the Collection of Fossils made on the West Coast District, vSouth 
Island." Rep. Gool. Kxplor. during 1873-74, No. 8, 1877, p. 91. 

t McKay, Alex. : " On the Geology of the Rcefton District, Inangahua County." Rep. Gcol. Kxplor. 
during 1882, No. 15, 1883, p. 109. | O/?. cit., p. 108. ^ Op. oil., p. 109. || 0;j. c//., p. 111. 

^ McKay, Alex : " Reports relative to the Collection of Fossils made on the West Coast District, South 
Island." Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1873-74, No. 8, 1877, p. 93. ** Op. cit., p. 94. ft Op. cit., p. 98. 



76 

other edge is obscure, and tlie first outcrop east of tlie Devonian vodka consists of 
shattered greywacke. In the Inangahua section, on the south bank of the river, the 
Devonian strata are well exposed along the Progress race, and here the actual junction 
shows crushed argillite apparently dipping under shattered quartzite. The western 
edge of the fossiliferous rocks is exposed in this section on both sides of the Inangahua, 
in Yorkie and Lankey creeks respectively, in both of which localities the formations 
are separated by a few feet of pug and shattered rock. The eastern edge on the 
north bank of the river is covered by old Quaternary gravels. In the Murray Creek 
section the quartzite is not shattered, but a wide zone of crushed rocks of the Aorere 
and Miocene series lies to the west. A road has been cut along the fault-zone, which 
is continuously exposed to the saddle a distance of about a mile, and, as a coal- 
seam is also involved, faulting is peculiarly obvious in this locality. On the left 
bank of the Waitahu, on the upper track, the eastern junction of the Devonian 
and Aorere beds is well shown, and is manifestly a fault-fissure filled with crushed 
rock and containing an intrusive dyke. No other junction was observed in the section 
cut by the Waitahu itself ; but in Orlando Creek, a small stream heading towards 
Boatman Creek, a large fault-zone contains great boulders of Devonian limestone between 
walls of Aorere rocks. Associated with this fault is a diabase dyke similar to that 
mentioned above. With regard to the Devonian rocks exposed in the basin of Deep 
Creek, the adit driven by the Big River Company from the head of Golden Lead 
Creek to the shaft of their mine is partly in Devonian quartzite and partly in rocks 
of the Aorere Series. The junction is undoubtedly a vertical fault-plane, with much 
pug between the walls. The fragment of Devonian argillite outcropping on the Progress 
race south of Deep Creek is in contact with a diabase dyke, and the limestone in 
the eastern branch of Willis Creek is undoubtedly adjacent to a fault. Thus in every 
section across the junction between the Devonian and Aorere rocks the field evidence 
either definitely proves the existence of a fault or is obscure, and in no section is 
there evidence of a junction of deposition, concordant or otherwise. Thus it has been 
demonstrated that the premises underlying the conclusions of McKay are erroneous, 
and that they furnish no proof concerning the relative age of the two Palaeozoic 
formations. 

The main Devonian area occurs as a narrow strip separated from the Inangahua- 
Grey graben by a ridge of Aorere sediments. On the eastern side of the fossiliferous 
rocks is a similar ridge which separates them from a depressed area, floored with 
Miocene rocks, lying at the base of the Victoria Range. It is evident frona the 
distribution of the Miocene patches that at one time a continuous sheet of these 
rocks existed over the whole of the Reefton uplands. Overlying the Devonian beds, 
and in part obscuring them, are areas of Miocene rocks, which are, however, nearly 
absent from the Aorere ridges bounding the fossiliferous rocks to the east and west. 
The areas of Devonian beds lying in the basin of Deep Creek are also associated with 
Miocene strata. It is obvious that during Late Tertiary times the general movement 
of the Miocene and associated Devonian blocks has been downward along the fracture- 
zone in respect to the Aorere rocks on either side. The peripheral faults of the 
fossiliferous Palaeozoic beds are certainly older than the Miocene. Their general 
parallelism with the auriferous lodes, and the occurrence in them of the diabase dykes 
so commonly associated with the lodes, strongly supports the view that they originated 
from the stresses which found relief in the intrusion of the dykes or the formation 
of the lode - fissures. The underground workings in the mines have shown that the 
fault-planes occupied by both the dykes and the lodes are steep-dipping and normal. 
Now, the faults bounding the Devonian blocks are certainly steep-dipping, and it is 
a legitimate assumption that they also are normal. If this be admitted it follows that 



77 

the Devonian blocks have had from the first a tendency to sink relatively to the 
Aorere blocks on either side. 

In addition to the peripheral faults of the Devonian areas are others that traverse 
them, and again others that affect the rocks close at hand. In fact, the Devonians 
lie in a zone of crushed and intensely faulted strata. As already stated, there are 
some faults, of which both walls are of Aorere rocks, which yet have entangled in 
the fissure fragments of Devonian strata. Thus a strong fault crossing Deep Creek 
just below the old Cumberland battery has angular pieces of quartzite embedded in the 
pug. A fault showing in a recent slip on the right bank of the Waitahu, opposite 
the hut two miles down the river, from the point where the track from the Murray 
Creek saddle reaches the river-bed, contains not only Devonian quartzite but coaly matter 
of Miocene age. Another fault in this locality, 20 chains west of the last-mentioned, 
contains large blocks of Devonian limestone obviously fault-involved. This is in 
Orlando Creek, where, as already stated, they occur in close association with a diabase 
dyke. To this fault must also be assigned the huge boulders of limestone that cumber 
the bed of the Waitahu directly in the course of this fracture. It has been shown 
on an earlier page that many of the faults of the subdivision contain filling that 
has descended from a higher level, but not one was observed of which the gouge came 
from a lower horizon — that is, so far as is known, all the faults are normal. The 
origin of fault-filling is not a matter which seems to have received much attention 
from geologists ; and the only occurrences in which the fault-filling has come from 
below are the so-called sandstone dykes that are specially prominent in California, 
where special circumstances, which are quite inapplicable to the Reefton Subdivision, 
have been invoked to explain the unusual phenomenon. The writer is unable to under- 
stand how in ordinary circumstances it is possible for broken material of any kind 
to be forced up from below along a fault-plane, a conception necessary if the Devonian 
strata underlie the Aorere rocks. Again, if such be the case, to explain the occurrence 
of fragments of Devonian and Miocene rocks in the same fault will require that during 
one period of movement material was forced up along the fault-plane, while during 
another period it migrated downward. 

In many ways the structural parallelism of the Miocene and Devonian strata 
entangled in the faults of the subdivision is most striking. Thus in the faults of 
the Reefton Subdivision — using this term to include also the great trough faults — are 
to be found fragments of Miocene beds which in size range upward into great masses 
of many square miles in area. The exposures of Devonian rocks, although neither 
so numerous nor so well graded in size, differ in no essential structural feature from 
these fault-involved Miocene beds. 

Again, the Reefton plateau is determined on the north-east by a great zone of 
dislocation, producing a relative downthrow to the south-westward ; and if this view 
is substantially correct it follows that the high hills and mountains on the north-east 
side of this zone really represent rocks of a lower horizon than those to the south- 
west. The Devonian rocks are associated with the depressed portion of the Aorere 
Series, and they stop short at the outer edge of the zone of dislocation ; nor is 
there any trace of them in the mountains to the north-east that are formed of 
Aorere rocks stratigraphically lower in the sequence. These facts are consistent 
with the writer's view that the Devonian rocks are superimposed upon the greywacke 
and argillite, and are directly antagonistic to McKay's opinion that they underlie 
them. 

In a general way the following considerations are also worthy of notice : Cox 
and McKay offer as proof of unconformity between the Reefton and Aorere beds the 
fact that different members of the Devonian Series are in contact with the latter strata 



78 

at different paints. The present writer has endeavoured to show that these occurrences 
are due to faulting, and are not proof of unconformity. If the fossiliferous rocks are 
covered by the Aorere beds it is strange that they have not, elsewhere in the 
extensive areas occupied by the latter, been exposed by denudation. Further, no 
patches of the Devonian strata, which consist of rocks not readily disguised by thermal 
metamorphism, have been found resting on the plutonic masses of the subdivision, 
and no fragments entangled in those rocks have ever been recognized. 

Age and Correlation. 

The officers of the old Geological Survey consistently advocated a Devonian 
age for the beds here considered. Statements to this effect may be found in the 
reports of geological explorations by Hector* and McKayf, while CoxJ maintains 
a neutral attitude. Hutton§ placed the Reefton beds in his Takaka System of Siluro- 
Devonian age, correlating them with a similar sequence of rocks developed in the 
valley of the Baton River. Park|| and Marshall^ are in practical agreement with 
Hutton on both points, the former placing them in his Wangapeka Series and the 
latter in his Baton River System, both thus ascribing a Silurian age for the group. 
Dr. J. Wanner, of Bonn, paid a visit to the Reefton district in 1910, and cursorily 
examined the sections exposed along the Inangahua and Lankey Creek. He stated** 
that the rocks reminded him strongly of the Devonian sequence of the Eifel region, 
and that they were undoubtedly of Lower Devonian age. He positively identified 
Pleurodictyum problematicum, and tentatively named species of Orthis, Chonetes, and 
Stringocephalus. Late in 1911 the collections of fossils belonging to the Geological 
Survey from the Palseozriic rocks of Baton River and Reefton were submitted to 
Mr. W. S. Dun, of Sydney, for examination, who has not yet furnished a report, 
but in a private communication to Dr. J. Allan Thomson writes that the fossils of the 
Reefton beds have a decidedly Devonian facies, while those of the Baton River have 
an equally Silurian aspect. The paucity of trilobites in species, but more particularly 
in individuals, is another fact pointing to a Devonian in preference to a Silurian 
age for these rocks. 

As already stated, some authorities correlate the fossiliferous Palaeozoic rocks 
of Reefton with the similar rocks of Baton River. The close lithographic al resem- 
blance of the two sequences was first pointed out by McKay, who, however, always 
insisted that they differed in age. Hector|t says that " There are many fossils identical 
from the two localities," and gives a table, which, however, is little more than a 
repetition of his preAdous statement. Lists of all fossils identified from Baton River 
and Reefton have been prepared by Thomson, J J and these certainly do not show 
many species common to both localities. In the opinion of the present writer the 
weight of evidence strongly supports a Lower Devonian age for the Reefton rocks, 
and separates them from those of the Baton River. 

* Hector, J. : Progress Reports, 1873-74. Rep. Geol. Bxplor. during 1873-74, No. 8, 1877, p. xiv. 

t McKay, Alex. : " On the Geology of the Reefton District, Inangahua County." Rep. Geol. Explor. 
during 1882, No. 15, 1883, p. 104. 

J Cox, S. Herbert : " Report on Westland District." Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1874^76, No. 9, 1877, 
p. 74. 

§ Hutton, P. W. : " The Geological History of New Zealand." Trans., vol. xxxii, 1900, p. 104. 

II Park, James : " The Geology of New Zealand," 1910, p. 40. 

^ Marshall, P. : " Geology of New Zealand," 1912, p. 178. 

** In conversation. 

tt Hector, J. : Progress Report, 1882. Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1882, No. 15, 1883, p. xxv. 

Xt Pal. BuU. No. 1, 1913, pp. 30, 31. 



79 

The marble and quartzose schist developed in the upper valleys of the Grey 
and Maruia rivers, although now showing no recognizable fossil remains, may well 
be the metamorphosed equivalents either of the Reefton beds or of those occurring in 
the Baton Eiver. The tufiaceous argillites and greywackes that form the lowest known 
rocks of the Devonian sequence at Reefton indicate that the volcanic activity so 
characteristic of the Devonian period in the Northern Hemisphere also obtained in 
New Zealand. It is possible that the volcanic action here evidenced is related to 
the great eruptions that caused the formation of the breccia of the Te Anau System, 
which Hector placed in the Devonian. In view, however, of the unsatisfactory state 
of our knowledge of the general Palaeozoic sequence in New Zealand, such a correlation 
can only be regarded as extremely hazardous. 

Paleontology. 

Hector and Hutton have each described a species of trilobite. Hector has figured 
one species each of Avicula and Strophomena, while a few other identifications have been 
made. Thomson* gives the following list :■ — • 

Avicula sp. ind. 

Chonetes striatella Dalman. 

Homalonotus exfansus Hector. 

Homalonotus sp. ind. 

Leptcena bipartita Salter. 

Or this crassa Lindstrom. 

Orthis grandis. 

Orthis interlineata J. de C. Sowerby. 

Spirifer cultrijugatus Romer. 

Spirifer speciosus Schlotheim. 

Spirifer vespertilio G. B. Sowerby. 

Stricklandia byrata J. de C. Sowerby. 

Strophomena sp. ind. 

To this list may be added- — - 

Pleurodictyum problematicum Goldfuss. 
Stringocephaliis sp. 
Tentaculites sp.f 

No authoritative identifications of the numerous madreporian and other corals that 
occur in the Devonian Hmestone have yet been made. 

MAWHERANUI SERIES. 
Resting with great unconformity on the Palaeozoic rocks and the granites that 
intrude them are rocks referable to the Mawheranui Series, the oldest beds of the 
Tertiary era developed in the subdivision. Their full succession is riot represented in 
the area examined, the Kaiata mudstone, that closes the sequence, being entirely 
absent, although generously developed in the adjacent Greymouth and Buller-Mokihinui 
subdivisions. The Island sandstone and Paparoa beds, prominent members of the 
series in the Greymouth Subdivision, outcrop along the southern boundary of the 
area here considered, but as these occurrences were examined and mapped in connection 
with Bulletin No. 13 the reader is referred to that publication for further information 
concerning them. On the other hand, the Hawk's Crag breccia has in this district its 



* Pal. Bull. No. 1, 1913, pp. 31, 32. 

f In the Canterbury Museum, inter alia, are specimens of Reefton fossils labelled Homalonolus 
herschelli and Spirifer biaulcaia. 



30 

most southern exposures. These and other facts of a like nature may be tabulated 
thus : — 





Greymouth Sub- 
division. 
Thickness. 


Reefton Subdivision. 
Thickness. 


Buller-Mokihinui Sub- 
division. 
Thickness. 


Kaiata mudstone . . 
Island sandstone . . 
Brunner beds 
Paparoa beds 
Hawk's Crag breccia 


3,000 ft. (max.) 
500 ft. „ 
500 ft. or more 
1,900 ft. to 3,200 ft- 
Absent 


Absent 

500 ft. or more 
Almost absent* 
4,000 ft. or more 


1,500 ft. 

Almost undeveloped. 

500 ft. or more. 

Absent. 

3,000ft. (?) 



* Paparoa beds occur on the southern boundary of the district, but were not examined by the writer 
(see Bull. No. 13). 

The precise relationship between the Paparoa beds and the Hawk's Crag breccia 
is not known, and it is possible that they are deposits identical in age. It should 
be noted that it is the upper members of the Mawheranui Series that are absent 
from the Eeefton Subdivision, and this naturally suggests that they have been removed 
by denudation. This, however, is a question that will be discussed on a later page. 



Distribution and Structure. 

The rocks of the Mawheranui Series cover in all an area of thirty-seven square miles 
within the Reefton Subdivision, and this includes the narrow strip occurring irregularly 
along the western part of the southern boundary of the district. The greater pro- 
portion of this area is comprised in two irregular patches of nearly equal size, covering 
each a flank of the southern portion of the Paparoa Range. That on the eastern 
side extends from Moonlight Creek to the Freeth River, a distance of seven miles 
and a half, and has a maximum width of about three miles. This occurrence consists 
essentially of three elongated blocks lying side by side, of which the central one has 
been let down between the other two, while the central portion of this block is, in 
addition, more depressed than its extremities. The patch on the western side of the 
mountains stretches from the head of the Punakaiki to beyond Mount Bovis, a distance 
of nearly eight miles. The greatest width is exposed in Bullock Creek, of which two 
miles and a half have been traversed without passing through these beds. The strata 
throughout this section are much disturbed, especially along the western edge, where 
they show intense faulting. The less-shattered portion exhibits steep dips toward the 
north-east. The small outcrop of breccia occurring near one of the great bends 
of the Punakaiki has almost certainly been preserved from denudation by involvement 
in a fault. Breccia, indistinguishable from typical Hawk's Crag breccia, occupies a 
small area at the mouth of the Fox River, many miles from any outcrop of similar 
rock. The vast accumulation of angular and subangular material, cliffs of which form 
so conspicuous a physiographical feature in the lower gorge of the Buller, extends 
southward across the Blackwater valley into the basin of Fletcher Creek. There the 
rock is exposed for a few chains in Hunt Creek, while debris from the hiUs shows 
that these beds have a more considerable development than is indicated by the limited 
extent of their outcrop along the streams. 

The lower beds of the Mawheranui Series in the Greymouth and Buller-Mokihinui 
subdivisions are typically conglomerate, pebble-beds, grit, sandstone and shale with coal- 
seams. Such beds also occur in the area here dealt with, but to a limited extent only. 



81 

These rocks cover a small patch in the basin of Slaty Creek, but are so closely associ- 
ated with the breccia-conglomerate beds that it has been found impracticable to separate 
them from the latter on the map. A much larger area, probably at one time con- 
tinuous with that above mentioned, occurs on the watershed between Pike Stream on 
the eastern side of the Paparoa Range and the Punakaiki and Porarari rivers on the 
western side. Another small area north of and separated from the vast accumulation 
of breccia in BuUock Creek lies in the basin of the Fox River. This fragment is 
deeply involved in the Lower Buller fault-zone, a fact to which it owes its preservation 
from the active denudation prevailing on the flank of a mountain-range. 

Age and Correlation. 

The rocks of the series here considered contain no internal evidence of their age 
except a few plant-remains, and, beyond the facts that they overlie with great uncon- 
formity the basal sedimentary and plutonic rocks, and underlie with undoubted though 
possibly moderate discordance the younger Tertiary deposits, do not, as far as the 
Reefton Subdivision is concerned, permit of their position in the chronological sequence 
being more definitely fixed. There can be no doubt, however, of the correlation of the 
breccia and breccia-conglomerate, that form by far the greater bulk of the deposits, with 
similar beds in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision, and to the publications dealing with 
that and the Greymouth Subdivision the reader is referred for a discussion concerning 
the age of these beds.* 

Stratigraphical Succession and Conditions of Deposition. 

The junction between the Mawheranui beds and the underlying rocks was observed 
at four points only — ^namely, Ten-mile Bluff, Moonhght Creek, Slaty Creek, and Fletcher 
Creek. In each of these localities the junction has these facts in common : that the 
surface of contact is flat or very gently undulating, and that the older rocks, whether 
granite or greywacke, are bleached and decomposed. Thus north of the Ten-mile 
Bluff the lower rock is much-jointed rotten greywacke, and the junction is exposed 
on the rock-shelf at low water as a gently curving line. At Moonlight Creek the 
surface of contact may be traced along the north bank for many chains near the 
confluence of Granite Creek, and here also the underlying greywacke is decidedly 
altered and bleached. At the other localities mentioned the Mawheranui beds rest 
on granite which exhibits unmistakable signs of decomposition. The junctions, though 
not nearly so well exposed as in the localities already mentioned, nevertheless indicate 
the existence of a fairly flat surface on which deposition took place. 

Northward fiom Ten-mile Creek the basal beds of the series are made up of con- 
glomerate bands with occasional layers of grit and sandstone. The boulders, some 
of which may have a maximum dimension of over 1 ft., are of greywacke exclusively, 
and most of the pebbles are of the same material, although some of the smaller 
are quartz. The intervening spaces are filled with sandy material. 

At the other localities where the actual basal beds are to be seen these consist 
of breccia that contains, at Moonlight, only greywacke - fragments ; in the Freeth 
valley, granite with occasional pieces of hornfels, a mixture to be found in the rocks 
outcropping at the mouth of the Fox River ; while in Hunt Creek the fragments 
are entirely granitic, a condition also obtaining throughout the vast deposits of 1 reccia 
occurring in the Porarari River and Bullock Creek. The breccia consists of angular 
and subangular blocks of varying size, the largest, up to at least 6 ft. in diameter, 



* N.Z. G.S. BuU. No. 13, 1911, p. 52 ; N.Z. G.S. BuU. No. 17, 1915, p. 72. 

6 — Reefton. 



82 

being seen in Bullock Creek. These are set in finer material of the same general 
composition as the larger fragments, and cemented by iron oxide, which imparts to 
the breccia a characteristic reddish or purplish tint. Perhaps the best idea of the 
sequence is given by the exposures in the Freeth and Slaty Creek valleys, although 
the occurrence of faults in this locality obscures some of the sections to a certain 
extent. The breccia here is on the whole fairly fine, and the lower layers contain 
more hornfelsic material than the higher, which in turn contain a greater proportion of 
fine material, and often show layers of sand and conglomerate. This finally gives 
place to beds containing no coarse angular material, and consisting of alternate layers 
of coarse and fine conglomerate, grit, sandstone, shale, and mudstone. In the con- 
glomerate layers the boulders, which are very well rounded and up to 2 ft. in diameter, 
are set in gritty sand, the whole being obviously beach deposit. Indeed, the sequence 
of the beds above the breccia undoubtedly proves the existence, during their deposition, 
of littoral conditions in this part of the subdivision. Occasional thin layers of carbon- 
aceous matter also occur in connection, indifferently, with the beds of shale, grit, or 
conglomerate. An analogous set of beds, although very much faulted, outcrops in 
the basin of the Fox Eiver, where the headwater branches of that stream break from 
the Paparoa Eange. There, however, the grit is altered to quartzite, and the coaly 
bands contain anthracitic coal in place of the lignitic material contained in the beds 
of Slaty Creek. The Fox Kiver beds are separated by a fault from the gneiss of 
the mountains, and are not in direct contact with the breccia layers developed so 
generously in Bullock Creek a Uttle to the southward. In the Moonlight Creek section 
the lower portion of the breccia is entirely free from granite-fragments, which make 
their appearance only in the upper beds. The small exposure of the breccia at the 
mouth of the Fox Eiver in its higher portion contains an increasing proportion of 
rounded stones, and the section closes with white grit and pebble - beds containing 
carbonaceous matter. 

Von Haast, who was the first to examine an area of these unusual deposits — 
i.e., that at the mouth of the Fox Eiver- — considered that it represented " the detritus 
brought down by the torrent from a granitic mountain."* McKayf is rather doubtful 
as to the mode of formation of the breccia, and suggests a glacial origin. Morgan 
and Bartrum,J who examined the great deposit of this breccia occurring in the Buller 
Gorge, conclude that it is of pluvial origin mixed with more or less true talus, the 
whole being derived from zones of crushed rock. The facts relied upon — namely, the 
coarseness of the material, its high textural range, its rapid change in composition, 
and the abundance of smaU angular fragments — are equally applicable to the breccia 
occurrences of the Eeefton Subdivision, while the total absence of rock-flour (the 
fine material being always sand or grit) precludes the possibility of the deposits being 
of glacial origin. Permanent mountain-streams, however, no doubt contributed to 
the formation of the deposits, which therefore are not strictly pluvial in the sense 
defined by Trowbridge.§ 

The existence of the beds of the Mawheranui Series is proof of a land - depression, 
and wherever the surface of the more ancient rocks can be seen it shows the gentle 
undulations characteristic of a land - surface of low relief. On the other hand, the 
breccia and breccia-conglomerate are evidence of the existence of very steep slopes, 
such as could not have persisted throughout the period necessary for the base-levelling 

* Haast, J. von : Rep. of a Top. & Geol. Explor. of the West. Dist. of the Nelson Prov., N.Z., 1861, 
p. 110. 

t G.S. Rep. during 1882, No. 15, 1883, p. 143. 

j N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17, 1915, pp. 76, 77. 

§ Trowbridge, A. C. : "A Classification of Common Sediments and some Criteria for Identification of 
the various Classes." Journal of Oeology, vol. xxii. No. 4, May-June, 1914, pp. 425-27. 



83 

of the surface on which the Mawheranui beds, whether of terrestrial* or subaqueous 
deposition, were laid down. Since the Mawheranui deposits are the first of a great 
series of Tertiary beds, and since all the deformative movements afiecting the West 
Coast area subsequent to their deposition have been of the plateau-forming type, it 
is reasonable to suppose that the Tertiary era as a whole was ushered in by similar 
earth-movements. Plateau-forming movements are characterized by the opening of 
great faults and the formation of fault-scarps, features that would cause the accumu- 
lation along their bases of deposits such as are here considered. 

GREYMOUTH (OR MIOCENE) SERIES. 

Miocene strata are very well developed in the Keefton Subdivision, in which 
they cover in all 186|- square miles. In this report they have been divided into 
two groups and five sets of beds, arranged in descending order as follows :■ — 

Upper (or Pareora) group — 

1. Deltaic sandstones, claystones, and conglomerates (present only in the 

inland region). 

2. Marine sandstones and claystones. (Blue Bottom.) 
Lower (or Oamaru) group — 

3. Limestones and calcareous grits, sandstones, and claystones. (Cobden lime- 

stone.) 

4. Littoral conglomerates, grits, sandstones, and shales. 

5. Breccias and breccia-conglomerates. 

The unconformable relationship of the Greymouth and Mawheranui series is definitely 
proved by the section near the mouth of the Fox Eiver.f Here breccia, which 
grades upward into grit and sandstone, is exposed for over a mile. The beds 
dip consistently eastward at from 30° to 40°, and form the base of hills, on the 
flanks of which they nowhere rise more than 100 ft. The actual j\mction of the 
two series was not observed, but the upper portions of these hills, are of the 
conspicuous Cobden limestone, here several hundred feet thick, and lying almost 
horizontal. The intervening portions are formed of soft sandstone containing several 
outcrops of flat-lying coal, which, if they belong to the same seam, indicate a south- 
easterly iiiclination of about 1 in 100. 

In Hunt and McMurray creeks Cobden limestone, without the intervention of 
coal-bearing beds, apparently directly overlies the Hawk's Crag breccia. Faulting 
however, is probable in both these sections. 

Distribution. 

The rocks of the Greymouth Series occur in two main areas, separated- by the 
Paparoa Eange. The coastal section begins just north of Barry town as a narrow 
exposure between the mountains and the sea, an exposure which steadily expands 
northward until on the boundary of the subdivision it is nine miles in width. The 
inland section occupies the entire floor of the great rift - vaUey, although the rocks 
are covered over large areas by more modern gravels. Portions of this inland section 
also occur on the Orikaka and Rcefton iiplands, lying in places in continuity with 
the main sheet and sometimes as outliers isolated by denudation. 

Breccia and breccia-conglomerate are locally developed as the basal members 
of the Miocene sequence, but they have a limited distribution. One small elongated 
area stretches from the head of Boatman Creek south-eastward across the Waitahu 
to the flanks of Mount Albert. Another even smaller area occurs close to Reefton, 

* The state of oxidation prevailing throughout the breccias, as indicated by their general red colour, is 
strong evidence that they accumulated under subaerial conditions. 

t See also McKay, A., Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1873-74, No. 8, 1877, p. 108; and Morgan, P. G., 
Trans., vol. xlvi, 1914, p. 275. 

6*— Reefton. 



84 

and may be traced from tlie traffic-bridge crossing the Inangahua at the town into 
the head of Soldier Creek. 

Conglomerate, grit, sandstone, and shale, evidently of littoral deposition, form in 
general the lowest beds of the Miocene. In the Reef ton Subdivision these rest either 
on the breccia-conglomerate or on the fundamental rocks of the locality, be they 
Palaeozoic sediments or acidic plutonics. The littoral beds are succeeded by soft 
greenish-blue sandstones and claystones of ofi-shore origin, and frequently calcareous, 
which also occasionally lie directly on the old rocks. In the coastal region the 
littoral beds, followed by the off-shore, outcrop beneath the Hmestone cuestas from 
the northern boundary of the subdivision to the G-entle Annie Eocks, south of which 
the subaqueous phase was observed to lie directly on the granite as far as Te Miko 
cliff. Beyond this the gentle southerly dip of the beds brings the Cobden limestone 
to sea-level. Along the western base of the Paparoa Range the littoral and off-shore 
phases appear as a narrow strip upturned by the Lower BuUer fault from north 
of the Porarari to the Waiwhero. In the G-rey-Inangahua valley, along the eastern 
side, littoral beds, with a considerable thickness of the off-shore facies overlying, outcrop 
from Little Flaxbush Creek as far south as Ram Creek. They again appear at 
Capleston, and may be traced from that township to Devil Creek. Large outliers 
of Miocene strata, consisting chiefly of the littoral deposits, lie in structural troughs 
among the Reefton hills. On the western side of the Inangahua graben the rocks 
occur in Fletcher and McMurray creeks, but north and south of this they are concealed 
by the overlap of younger strata. They again outcrop across the Buller from Three- 
channel Flat, but their structure here is obscured by river-gravels. They appear 
from beneath younger rocks of the same sequence at Coal Flat in the upper valley 
of the right-hand branch of Welshman Creek, and at Burley's, east of Berlin's. Two 
small isolated areas of these rocks occur in G-arden GruUy and Fitzgerald creeks, small 
tributaries of MoonUght Creek, where they have been protected from denuding agents 
by involvement in a powerful fault-zone. 

The Upper Miocene beds are represented in the coastal region by thick layers 
of sandstone and claystone, which are frequently calcareous and contain numerous 
shelly beds. These overlie the limestone, and from them the depression next the 
Paparoa Range has been carved, whUe southward of the Punakaiki they reach almost 
to Barry town. In the inland region the beds of the upper group of the Miocene 
form the floor of the whole of that portion of the rift-valley drained by the Grey, 
and also the greater part of its northern section drained by the Inangahua. Outside 
of the graben the only rocks that can be referred to this portion of the Miocene 
sequence cover a small area in the basin of Sawyer Creek. Deltaic beds, however, 
form the greater part of the Tertiary strata in the graben. The marine phase is 
represented by a comparatively narrow strip which lies between the deltaic gravels 
and the granite of the Paparoa Range from Giles Creek to the Te Wharau. Farther 
north the beds rest on limestone, but still have no great breadth of exposure. Near 
Landing Creek, however, they flare out, and they also cover a considerable area 
toward the Brunner Range. Along the north bank of the Waitahu, down-stream 
from the bridge on the road to Capleston, an excellent section of these beds is 
exposed, although a Very small area is here covered by them. Another small patch 
of the marine beds is cut through by Moonlight Creek, and the soft sandstone out- 
cropping! along upper Caledonian Creek is considered to belong to the same part of 
the Miocene sequence. The deltaic phase of the Upper Miocene beds is not definitely 
represented in the coastal region, although the pebble layers noted in the BuUer- 
Moldhinui Subdivision* indicate close proximity to land. 

* N.Z. G.S. BuU. No. 17, 1916, p. 82. 



86 

Structuee. 

The structure of the Miocene rocks is very simple. Since their deposition it is 
evident that although the rocks of the Eeefton Subdivision have suffered great changes 
in elevation this has been brought about by radial movements, and not by tangential 
pressure. Thus the littoral beds of the Oamaru Series are to be found resting on 
the basement rocks at heights ranging from sea-level to nearly 4,000 ft. ; and this 
within a few miles. Nevertheless, the rocks as a whole have but gentle dips over 
wide areas, and it is only in proximity to faults that they are contorted or assume 
a vertical attitude. 

In the coastal region the Miocene rocks rest on an earth-block, depressed relatively 
to the earth-blocks that make up the Paparoa Range. The Tertiary beds are in 
places horizontal, but have in general a gentle dip toward the mountains, while in 
addition there is an easy undulatory structure north and south along the length of 
their exposure. Thus at Candlelight, in the Charleston district, five miles north 
of the subdivision, the basal beds he at 600 ft. above the sea, which to the south- 
ward they gradually approach, until at Brighton they are little above tide-mark. 
Farther south, at the Gentle Annie Rocks, they are nearly 400 ft. above the sea, 
while at Te Miko, another two miles to the south, they are again at sea-level. The 
great clifi at this locality owes its origin, in fact, to the ease with which the waves 
can cut away the weak rocks at the base of the sequence. The southward pitch 
of the whole series at this point is maintained to Bai-rytown, where the upper beds 
disappear beneath the beach-gravels. This undulatory structure, which is also manifest 
beyond the northern boundary of the subdivision, has probably been brought about 
by the unequal friction and downslip along the Lower Buller fault that limits the 
earth-block on the east. It should be noted that towards the south, in which direction 
the Tertiary beds plunge, the peaks of the Paparoa Range also progressively decrease 
in height. As the strata, gently dipping towards the eastward, approach the main 
fault the beds flatten, and sometimes are even upturned for a short distance. From 
Bullock Creek nearly to Canoe Creek a narrow inter-fracture plate of steeply dipping 
Miocene rocks separates the main mass of the Tertiaries from the older rocks of 
the range. The western edge of the coastal earth-block as weU as the eastern is 
bounded by a great fracture, which has upturned the limestone at the mouth of 
Limestone Creek, and crushed the strata on the road about half a mile south of 
the Fox, and again at White Horse Terrace, just beyond the northern edge of the 
subdivision. 

In the inland region the Miocene rocks cover an earth-block that has been 
let down relatively to the blocks on either side. The structure of the Miocene 
rocks that floor the valley is obscured over a great part of the grabeu by later 
gravels, but a sufficient number of outcrops were observed to show that as a whole 
the attitude of the beds has been but little affected by earth-movements. Along the 
edges of the depression the strata are usually upturned, but this is by no means 
a constant feature, and for long distances both in the Inangahua and Grey sections 
of the graben no outcrops occur at the mountain-base across what is probably 
the fracture-zone. In the Inangahua Survey District the Miocene rocks rise from 
the gi-abeu to the low hills lying to the west by what must be considered a 
fractured monocUnal. A similar structure prevails along the eastern edge of the 
depression fr-om Capleston to south of Reefton, but in this locality denudation has 
removed the upper portion of the curve and also large areas of the elevated 
strata. 



86 
Stratigraphical Succession and Conditions op Deposition. 

The basal breccia and breccia-conglomerate of the Miocene are closely comparable 
with the similar beds that occur at the bottom of the Eocene sequence. In different 
locaUties they show great variation. In upper Boatman Creek they contain enormous 
granite masses (up to 12 ft. in diameter), angular and subangular, set in a matrix 
of grit containing smaller fragments. The lower portion of these beds exhibits no 
sign of stratification, but higher up they contain layers of coarse sand showing strike 
and dip. On the south bank of the Waitahu, just below the Montgomerie junction, 
is an exposure of these beds, which here consist of angular, fairly fine, even-sized 
hornfelsic greywacke. The matrix, which is very scanty, is decidedly sandy, and not 
clayey. Near Eeefton the stones are of greywacke and argiUite set in a distinctly 
clayey matrix, and here the beds are reddened with oxide of iron, and are often 
much decomposed. The origin of deposits of this nature has already been discussed. 
Briefly, they represent talus and pluvial accumulations from fault-shattered slopes. 

The deposits just described are of quite limited distribution, and the general basal 
strata of the Miocene are conglomerate, grit, shale, and mudstone, which at many 
places contain valuable coal-seams. Field-work in the Eeefton Subdivision has shown 
that these beds were deposited on a gently undulating surface, which was probably a 
base-levelled land-surface prior to the Miocene depression. Over such a surface a 
slight subsidence would permit a wide transgression of the sea, a,nd, if the off-shore 
currents were not too strong, conditions favourable to the accumulation of beach 
deposits would be created. That the strata considered under this head are beach 
deposits is shown by their nature. They range from conglomerate, of which the 
larger pebbles are of resistant rocks exceedingly well rounded, to fine sand. As the 
fragments decrease in size they become less smoothly rounded, and a sharp grit is 
probably the most characteristic rock. The grit - beds are of various degrees of 
fineness, but the separate layers have always been well assor-ted, according to size, by 
the waves. Current bedding is very common, while sheU-fragments* and the occasional 
subangular stones of the intertidal sand beach are characteristically developed. Some- 
times lagoonal conditions prevailed, for beds of fine carbonaceous mudstones, such as 
to-day form the mud-flats of sheltered inlets along the New Zealand coast, occur in 
places. These exhibit remains of sand-burrowing and other molluscs. Often the lime 
has been concentrated into calcareous concretions, whilst in one locaUty mud-cracks were 
noted. The argillaceous beds are usually decidedly micaceous, and when rapid alter- 
nations with fine sands occur a shaly rock results. The auriferous blacksand-leads of 
the modern beaches have their prototypes in the " cements " of Oriental, Lankey, 
Murray, and Boatman creeks, in which, however, the ironsand is now represented by 
marcasite. At Capleston the old lead is on a false bottom, in that it rests on the 
sands of that period, and not on the basement rocks, as at the other localities. 
Terrestrial or paludal conditions occasionally obtained, as is indicated by the occurrence 
of coal-seams, the origin of which will be discussed on a later page. 

As the depression of the land proceeded the sea transgressed more and more on 
the gently shelving surface, and beach deposits formed again and again along the new 
strand-lines. Thus a series of littoral beds exist, ranging in age throughout the whole 
period during which depression lasted. Occasionally the beach deposits are entirely 
wanting, as at Te Miko cliff and Inangahua Junction, and it may be supposed that 
at these points the scour of the waves was sufficient to sweep the underlying rock 
clear of all loose material. Again, in certain localities conditions were peculiarly 

* These occur below the coal-seams at the Waitahu River and Fletcher Creek. 



favourable for the accumulation of littoral beds. Thus at Capleston and in the 
Waitahu valley Miocene beach deposits have a very great development, attaining a 
thickness of at least 1,000 ft. 

As the strand-line moved inland the earlier littoral beds were covered by the sea 
to an increasing depth, and material deposited under these conditions exhibits appropriate 
characteristics. The beds overlying the beach deposits usually consist of greenish-grey 
sandstone, rapidly alternating with thin layers of bluish claystone. Higher in the 
sequence the difierent layers become thicker, the sandstone-beds more massive, and 
the claystone more and more calcareous, finally grading into the Cobden limestone that 
immediately overlies. In the coastal region these ofi-shore deposits attain a thickness 
of perhaps 400 ft., but the uncertainty of the horizon that forms the top of this set of 
beds makes any estimate of thickness worthless. It may be stated that this part of 
the Miocene sequence is much more poorly represented in the inland region, a fact giving 
additional support to the thesis of overlap developed in succeeding paragraphs. 

The material that forms the littoral beds must have been derived from pre-existing 
deposits of similar nature or from acidic plutonic rocks. Both these possible 
sources of supply are available within and contiguous to the Reefton Subdivision. The 
greenish-blue sandstones and claystones of the ofi-shore deposits have their prototypes 
in the Palaeozoic greywackes and argillites and the similar rocks of Mesozoic age that 
form the Alpine chain. 

The beds constituting what is usually termed the Cobden limestone represent a 
period of further depression of the area forming the Reef ton Subdivision. The deepening 
of the water, the increasing distance fi'om the land due to the transgression of the 
sea, together with the lessening area from which detritus could be derived, brought 
about conditions favourable for the deposition of calcareous beds. The change in 
character from the off-shore deposits is usually, but not always, quite gradual. Along 
the present shore-Une the limestone varies from 300 ft. to 600 ft. in thickness, but 
inland in the coastal region is somewhat less, since the tendency is for the beds to 
grade into calcareo-arenaceous deposits toward the Paparoa Range, which had been 
previously uplifted and was not totally submerged during this period (see later). At 
the mouth of the Punakaiki the limestone grades upward into a white gritty sandstone, 
which, over an area of at least a square mile, contains water-worn fragments of coal. 
The significance of this will be discussed on a later page. 

In the Grey - Inangahua graben shallow - water conditions in places lessened or 
prevented the accumulation of limestone. Thus along the eastern flank of the Paparoa 
Range the calcareous deposits of Inangahua Junction, which are about 400 ft. in 
thickness, extend southward with diminishing thickness until, where the Te Wharau 
breaks fi-om the mountains, they taper out in the form of a calcareous grit against the 
basal granite. Eastward from Inangahua Junction the limestone merges into lime- 
bearing claystone, which is well seen on the saddle where the road crosses from the 
Dee to Three-channel Flat. Still farther eastward only a single layer, 3 ft. to 4 ft. in 
thickness, of obviously calcareous sandstone is intercalated in a great thickness of 
rapidly alternating thin-bedded claystone and sandstone. This indicates a sea-bottom 
well within the influence of wave-action. Farther north, in the basins of New and 
Pensini creeks, the conditions were evidently more favourable for the formation of 
limestone, for in these localities the calcareous beds are much more generously developed. 
Southward along the flank of the Brunner Range no outcrops were noted for many 
miles. It is highly probable that the great depression forming the Inangahua-Grey 
graben was open to the sea northward across the basin of the Orikaka and Ngakawau, 
while it is certain that connection was made with the open ocean southward. It may 
be asserted with considerable confidence that the Paparoa Range, at the time of the 



88 

deposition of the limestone, formed an island. In the calcareous strata exposed in 
Tobin Creek, near the foot of the Victoria Range, are bands containing numerous 
angular fragments of granite and hornfels, the whole forming a breccia with a 
calcareous matrix. This indicates deposition close to a steep coast formed of hard 
rock, and since the occurrence is close to a post-Miocene major fault it is probable 
that the Miocene shore was determined by the same fault. 

In the coastal region the Cobden limestone is succeeded with perfect concordance 
by massive blue fine-grained sandstones or mudstones, known on the West Coast as 
the " Blue Bottom." Usually the upper members of the limestone grade into these 
beds, and it is impossible to separate them precisely, but near the mouth of the 
Punakaiki the top of the limestone merges into a white gritty sandstone, quite distinct 
from the soft blue sandstone overlying. Evidently in this locality some decided 
change took place in the conditions of deposition. The Blue Bottom beds manifestly 
were deposited in shallow water. They contain shelly bands, and in places the 
fossils are so numerous as to make thick layers of rock, rich enough in lime to deserve 
the name of arenaceous limestone rather than calcareous sandstone. The sections of 
these beds examined in the coastal region were not of a nature to yield data as to 
their original thickness ; nor is this surprising when it is considered that elevation 
took place at the close of this period, and has been maintained, with the eixception 
of one partial submergence, to the present day. 

In the inland region the strata of this period show considerable variation. In the 
Inangahua Survey District the thickness of the Blue Bottom beds recalls that of 
the coastal region, although here the beds are much less calcareous. In their upper 
portion they contain layers of even-sized conglomerate and occasional bands of lignitic 
material. Along the flanks of the Paparoa Range the Blue Bottom beds grade 
upward from the limestone, and show overlap on the underlying granite from the 
Te Wharau to south of Giles Creek. In this locality the marine beds are much less 
fully developed, there being a thickness of only a few hundred feet of strata beneath 
the lignitic bands. These evidences of terrestrial conditions are only a few inches in 
thickness, but may be continuous for many chains. They are overlain by blue 
unfossiHferous sandstones similar to the beds underlying, which, however, contain a 
rich marine fauna. Other layers of lignite overhe, often in rapid succession, and 
beds of blue conglomerate fairly well consolidated, and consisting of even-sized water- 
worn flakes of quartzose schist in a blue sandy matrix, become more and more fre- 
quent ; in fact, the sandstone layers become subordinate and finally disappear. Still 
higher in the sequence a few granite and greywacke pebbles appear among the schistose 
fragments, and these, particularly the granite, are larger than the other pebbles, 
and the beds on the whole tend to lose their even texture. At the same time they 
become more oxidized, even in the fresh sections. Beds of the types described cover 
the whole floor of the grabeu southward fi-om near The Landing. Over large areas 
they are concealed by more recent gravels ; but the distribution of their outcjrops 
within the depression, as well as the general structure of the rift-valley, leave no room 
for doubt of the truth of the above statement. The coarser beds of the series are 
most largely developed in the Inangahua valley from Reefton as far north as Fletcher 
and Brown creeks, although the sandstones containing lignitic bands and occasional 
layers of conglomerate appear at many points through the younger gravels of the 
Grey as well as beneath those of the Inangahua valley. Within the Grey-Inangahua 
trough the whole group of beds above the limestone constitutes an ancient delta, 
of which the marine deposits represent the widespread bottom-set beds, and the oxidized 
upper deposits the typical top-set beds. The blue sandstones and claystones, with 
bands of lignitic material and with seams of brown coal, are evidently top-set beds 
formed during a period of intermittent depression ; while the thick strata of blue 



89 

conglomerate, with but a few sandstone layers and devoid of lignitic bands, are fore- 
set beds lying over older top-set deposits. The deltaic accumulations may be 
traced northward as far as Brown Creek, and southward beyond the southern 
boundary of the subdivision ; in fact, beds of this type are reported as far south 
as Eoss. 

There is no difficulty in providing a near-by source for the gravels of 
North Westland, but those of the Inangahua valley must have come from the meta- 
morphosed zone of the Alpine overthrusts. The nearest point at which schists occur 
in situ is along the Spenser Range, and the stream or streams that carried the pebbles 
to where they now form conglomerates must have borne them across a belt of granite 
and greywacke fully twenty miles in width. The total absence of spoil fi-om these 
rocks in the lower portion of the conglomerate, and its sparing occurrence in the 
upper layers, suggest that during this period the belt intervening between the source of 
the spoil and the area of deposition was at first of very low relief, but that later, 
probably fi-om a rejuvenation of the river-system through elevation, it contributed a 
small amount of waste to the stream-channels. The Alpine Range at this time must 
have had considerable relief, otherwise it is impossible reasonably to account for the 
great thickness of conglomerate forming the deltaic deposits. 

Relationship of the Cobden Limestone and Overlying Beds. 

It has been stated above that the Blue Bottom beds generally follow the Cobden 
limestone with perfect conformity. This is in agreement with the observations of 
McKay, Webb, Morgan, and Bartrum throughout the West Coast in general. While 
this is the case over the greater part of the Reefton Subdivision, there are two 
localities in which marked discordance exists between the Blue Bottom and earlier 
Miocene beds. On the right bank of the Waitahu, just below the bridge on the 
short track from Reefton to Capleston, is a high cliff, in great part bare of vegetation. 
Its base is formed of a hard grit containing sporadic stones, and evidently an ancient 
beach deposit. This bed has a strike of N. 20° E., and a dip of 30° to the westward, 
and is underlain by sandstone containing pyritic concretions, the strata beneath which 
are not exposed, but probably consist of the dark concretionary mudstone with Miocene 
fossils that outcrops a few chains up the track leading to Capleston. About 20 chains 
above the bridge sandy shales, with a strike and dip corresponding with that of the 
beds at the bridge, occur, and these shales form the first outcrop of a section of coal- 
bearing littoral beds that outcrop continuously for about 40 chains along the river- 
bank. The strike here is also N. 20° E., and the dip westerly, while a similar 
structure prevails in the littoral beds of Flower and Boatman creeks. It seems a 
reasonable inference that the beds at the base of the chfi near the Waitahu Bridge are 
part of a large block of Lower Miocene strata. The hard grit above referred to 
grades upward into incoherent sands, in the upper part of which small pieces of 
detrital coal occur. The rotten conglomerate that overlies also contains coal-fi-agmcnts, 
and is, moreover, formed largely of rounded fragments from the underlying Miocene beds. 
At this point the section is obscured by for st growth. A chain or so to the north- 
west is a well-consolidated conglomerate consisting of cobbles almost exclusively derived 
from the Palaeozoic greywackes, and set in a gritty matrix which contains coal and 
shell fragments. This conglomerate is perhaps 20 ft. in thickness, and is overlaui in 
turn by layers of soft bluish claystone and sandstone cojitaining imperfect casts of 
marine shells. These beds strike N. 70° E., and dip very flatly to the west of north. 
That they belong to the Blue Bottom formation, and not to the similar marine beds 
below the Cobden limestone, is indicuited by the occun-ence in them, just above the 
conglomerate, of two thin layers of lignite. The evidences for unconformity in this 



90 

locality are discordance in strike and dip between the upper and lower beds, the 
facts that the upper series contains water-worn fragments of the lower, and that 
the Cobden limestone is entirely wanting in this section. Notwithstanding this clear 
proof of unconformity, and that the exposure is excellent, the actual plane of junction 
could not be detected, although Mr. F. K. Broadgate and the writer made diligent 
search for it. It is probable that the lowest beds of the Blue Bottom are here 
composed of gritty sand derived from the littoral beds of the Miocene, and deposited 
on a decomposed surface of similar beds. 

In McCarthy Creek, a branch of Moonlight Creek, a section is exposed showing 
the overlap of the Blue Bottom beds on the Palaeozoic rocks. In addition to bands 
of Hgnite, there is a layer of claystone pulped by a neighbouring fault and containing 
fragments of coal. This rests directly on the greywacke. At a higher level and in 
Garden G-uUy, the next creek to the north, occurs a thick seam of brown coal, while 
in Fitzgerald Creek, also quite close at hand, occur brown coal and a fault-involved 
fragment of foraminiferal limestone which is correlated with the Cobden limestone. 
Probably, then, the Lower Miocene beds had been elevated and denuded before the 
deposition of the Blue Bottom. 

To recapitulate : The perfect conformity of the Cobden limestone and the Blue 
Bottom is shown by numerous sections, which do not require enumeration, both in the 
coastal and inland regions of the subdivision. This strict concordance has been noted 
by other writers, and requires no further elaboration. On the other hand, the writer 
has described two sections, in one of which discordance is demonstrated and in the 
other at least strongly indicated. Moreover, in the coastal region the passage from 
the Cobden limestone to the Blue Bottom is, in one locahty (near the mouth of the 
Punakaiki), abrupt and marked by the occurrence of water-worn pieces of coal, facts 
which suggest a marked change in the conditions of deposition. It is believed that 
at the close of the period represented by the Cobden hmestone crustal stresses were 
adjusted in part by the depression of certain earth-blocks, and in part by the elevation 
of others relative to a fixed sea-level. This hypothesis adequately accounts for the 
unconformable sections described above, and explains both the absence of the younger 
Miocene rocks from the Keefton plateau and the overlap of the same beds along the 
western base of the Paparoa Eange. The deep involvement of the older Miocene rocks 
along the fault-zones traversing the plateau just mentioned would suflB.ce to preserve 
some of those beds even if the area were base-1 .veiled to the present deep-cut drainage- 
channels ; and it would be extraoi'dinary, had the younger members of the sequence 
ever been deposited here, if some fiagment of them had not escaped denudation. In 
regard to the overlap above referred to, the sections in Fletcher Creek and its branches 
show that the calcareous beds are here underlain by hundreds of feet of strata which 
are unrepresented at McMahon Creek and the Te Wharau, where the calcareous beds 
rest directly on the granite. That the same limestone occurs in aU the streams is 
shown by the fact that it forms a prominent escai-pment, broken only by narrow 
stream-valleys. The calcareous beds are not seen south of the Te Wharau, Giles 
Creek exhibiting a section of the higher members of the series that terminates in a 
shelly sandstone characteristic of the Blue Bottom. This bed, however, does not rest 
upon the basal granite, but is separated from it by a fault-plane. 

The succession of the strata in the lower valley of the Punakaiki deserves a few 
remarks. The change from the more or less arenaceous limestone that constitutes the 
upper layers of the Cobden limestone into the blue sandy clays of the Blue Bottom is, 
as already stated, usually gradual, and the plane of demarcation cannot be fixed. In 
the locality mentioned, however, the top of the limestone merges into white gritty sand- 
stone, occasionally somewhat calcareous, and everywhere containing water-worn fragments 
of coal. These are usually distributed quite sparingly, but occur abundantly iu some 



91 

lenticular layers. TMs grit is abruptly succeeded, witli perfect concordance, by the usual 
Blue Bottom sediments. Although deposition did not cease in this locality, it is evident that 
a great change took place in the nature of the spoil supplied and in the conditions of 
sedimentation. Thus the detrital grains, from being in the limestone chiefly derived from 
marine organisms, in the case of the grits must have originated from a near-by land- 
surface. The conditions of sedimentation in a like manner show a change from the 
zone of minor agitation to that of major agitation, approaching in fact those obtaining 
in the littoral zone. It is unlikely that such abrupt changes could have been caused 
by the shoaling of the sea-bed by deposition, and the alternative explanation postulates 
an elevation of the sea-bottom and the adjacent land. The nearest land possibly existing 
during the deposition of the Cobden limestone is -between four and five miles distant, 
and the intervening space is occupied by the underlying limestone layers without any 
cover of Blue Bottom sandstone. There is no proof of unconformity in this locality, 
but the facts stated strongly suggest that during the deposition of the grit containing 
coal-fragments the strand-line was close at hand, indicating an emergence of the sea-floor 
over a belt several miles in width. There are two possible origins for the coal-fragments 
— ^namely, from the coal-seams at the base of either the Mawheranui Series or the Oamaru 
Series. The percentage composition of the detrital coal is as under : — 

Fixed carbon . . . . . . . . . . . . 4541 

Volatile hydrocarbons . . . . . . . . . . 35-14 

Water .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 9-24 

Ash .. .. ... .. .. .. .. 10-21 



100-00 
Sulphur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0-71 

This agrees well with the composition of many of the coals of the older series as these 
are developed in the neighbouring Greymouth Subdivision. Coal-measures almost certainly 
of this age occur at the headwaters of the Punakaiki and Porarari rivers, and coal-seams 
are known to be there developed. The writer, however, had no opportunity of visiting 
this locality, and his knowledge of the nature of the coal is confined to the examination 
of small fragments found in the creeks draining from the area mentioned. These 
fragments indicate that the coal is either sub-bituminous or bituminous in composition, 
and the seams may well have supplied the rolled pebbles contained in the grit. The 
other possible source for these is in the brown-coal seams frequently developed in the 
beds beneath the Cobden limestone. The nearest outcrop of the seams in these measures 
exists in Waiwhero Creek, four miles from the mouth of the Punakaiki. The writer 
neglected to take a sample of the thick seam here exposed, but it is undoubtedly a 
brown coal approximating in composition that exposed near Brighton, which is much 
higher in volatile hydrocarbons and Water but lower in fixed carbon. (See analyses 
on p. 217). This apparently indicates that the coal-pebbles were not derived from 
seams of Miocene age immediately beneath the limestone. 

The Blue Bottom beds near the mouth of the Punakaiki also contain innumerable 
particles of coaly matter, and small pebbles of coal were observed by J. A. Bartrum* 
in blue sandstone of the same age in the valley of the Waitakere River. 

For a description of other occurrences of coal-fragments in the Oamaru rocks of the 
West Coast, and a more adequate discussion of their significance, the reader is referred 
to Bulletin No. 13, pp. 65, 66, and Bulletin No. 17, pp. 85-88, as well as to a paper 
entitled " Unconformities in the Stratified Rocks of the West Coast of the South 
l3land."t 

* MS. notes. See also N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17, 1916, p. 89. 
t Morgan, P. G. : Trans., vol. xlvi, 1914, pp. 272-74. 



Age and Correlation. 

The series of rocks here considered cover a wide area on the West Coast, although 
the lowest beds, consisting of breccia and breccia-conglomerate, do not appear to extend 
beyond the Keefton Subdivision.* It is considered that all the sedimentary beds below 
the limestone are of approximately the same age, whether they consist of the coarse 
deposits of the zone of major agitation or of the finer materials laid down in quieter 
waters. It is obvious that these sediments must grade into and replace one another 
both vertically and laterally. Thus the beach deposits developed to so great a thickness 
from Capleston to Garvey Creek are represented by blue oft-shore sandstone and clay- 
stone in other localities (between Flaxbush Creek and Dee Stream and again in the 
coastal region). It is possible, indeed, that the upper layers of these beach deposits 
were laid down ia a period durmg which in other places limestone was forming. 

If the correlation of the Cobden and the Oamaru limestones is correct, it equally 
follows that the Blue Bottom beds that are typically developed in the coastal region in 
direct contmuity with those of the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision must correspond with 
the Pareora Formation of Hutton. In the Grey-Inangahua graben the normal marine 
sediments are poorly represented, all but the lowest members of the group of beds being 
replaced by deltaic deposits contaming numerous layers of impure lignitic material. The 
deltaic deposits consist chiefly of even-grained conglomerate interbedded, especially 
towards the base, with blue sandstone layers, indistinguishable, in the absence of fossils, 
from similar rocks in the Blue Bottom. Webb| notes a somewhat similar sequence in 
his Upper Kongahu Series, with which these rocks correspond in age. In the middle 
Maruia district a great thickness of conglomerate, that cannot be distinguished lithologically 
from that of the Grey-Inangahua graben, covers a wide area. These rocks also represent 
an ancient delta, and present so many features common also to the deposits of the 
Reefton Subdivision that the difficulty is to discover points of difference. Both sets of 
beds consist of a similar sequence of deposits, contain numerous lignite layers, occasional 
leaf -beds, and thick seams of brown coal, and both yield traces of petroleum. 
Cox,J who spent a month of 1883 in a reconnaissance survey over more than 1,200 square 
miles of exceedingly rough and nearly roadless country, maps the conglomerates of the 
Maruia and Warwick valleys as lying beneath the limestone developed near Murchison, 
and corresponding with the Cobden limestone. He appears to have relied on the 
supposed major structure of the district to fix the position of the conglomerate in 
respect to this limestone, and as his interpretation of the facts of structure is obviously 
erroneous this question must be regarded as open. 

Paleontology. 

In regard to the list of Mollusca here given, the identifications are by Mr. Henry 
Suter. The material from the Pareora Series was collected by the writer during field- 
work in the years 1912-14, and the bulk of the remainder by McKay in 1874 
(Collections Nos. 28, 31, 33, 38, 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, and 274). The vertical arrangement 
of the names in the list is according to the distribution of the fossils. The Pareora 
beds yielded twenty-two species, of which seven are Recent ; the upper part of the 
Oamaru, or that portion containing the Cobden limestone and the associated strata, 
yielded fifteen species, of which five are living, while thirty-eight species belong to the 
lower part of the Oamaru, of which nine are Recent. The combined beds contain sixty -two 
species, of which nineteen are Recent — that is, they contain 31 per cent, of living forms. 



* They may occur in the lower BuUer Gorge, west of the subdivision boundary. See N.Z. G.S. Bull. 
No. 17, 1915, p. 85. t N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 11, 1910, p. 20. } " On the District between the Maruia 

and Buller Rivers." Rep. Geol. Explor, during 1883-84, No. 16, 1884, pp. 1-10. 



93 





Table of 


MOLLUSOAN Fossils. 


















Pareora Series. 


Upper Part of 
Oamaru Series. 


Lower Part of Oamaru Series. 






2 


si 

O 

o 




O 




8 
eg 

Sen 

1 


o 

O 


m 

1 

Hi 


>> 




a 
a 

1 

r 


*Ancilla australis (Sow.) 

*Ancilla mucronata (Sow.) . . 

* Architectonica (Philippia) lutea (Lai 

Euthria n. sp. (c/. E. media Hutt.) 1 

Glycymeris cordata Hutt. . . 
*Glycymeris laticostata (Q. & G.) 

Lapparia corrugata Hutt. ? 

Lima paucisulcata Hutt. . . 

Macrocallista pareoraensis Sut. ? 
*Modiolus australis (Gray) . . 
*Natica zelandica Q. & G. ? 

Olivella neozelanica Hutt. , . 

Ostrea incurva Hutt. 

Pleurotomaria tertiaria McCoy 

Polinices gibbosus (Hutt.) . . 

Polinices huttoni v. Ihering 

Sinum (Eunaticina) cinctum (Hutt. 

Siphonalia conoidea (Zitt.). . 

Dentalium solidum Hutt. . . 

*Anomia huttoni Sut. 
*Anomia undata Hutt. 

Chama huttoni Hector 

Pecten (Camptonectes) huttoni (Park 

Pecten (Chla?nys) williamsoni Zitt. 
*Protocardia (Nemocardium) pulchelk 
*Xenophora corrugata (Reeve) 

Hemithyris squamosa (Hutt.) ? 

Crepidula gregaria Sow. 
*Dosinia greyi Zitt. 

Paphia curta (Hutt.) 

Cytherea (Gircomphalus) sulcata (Hi 
*Lima (Mantellum) suteri Dall. 

Ostrea wuellerstorfi Zitt. 

Pecten (Pseudamusium) hochstetteri 

Pholadomya neozelanica Hutt. 

Pinna distans Hutt. 

*Arca novm-zealandice Smith 

Cardium patulum Hutt. 

Cardium sp. 

Cardium waitakiense Sut. ? 

Chione chiloensis truncata Sut. ? 

Chione meridionalis (Sow.) 

Chione sp. (c/. C. elegans (Hutt.) ) . 

Cucullcea alta Sow. 

Cucullcea n. sp. ? . . 

Daphnella n. sp. ? near D. (Raphit 
zelanica Sut.) 

Dosinia sp. ? 

Leda semiteres Hutt. 
*Lima angulata Sow. 

Lima colorata Hutt. 
*Ostrea corrugata Hutt. ? . . 

Panopea orbita Hutt. 

Panopea worthingtoni Hutt. 
*Panopea zelandica Q. & G. 

Pecten hutchinsoni Hutt. . . 

Pecten marshalli Sut. ? . . 

Pecten scandula Hutt. 

Pecten sectus Hutt. 

Pecten yahliensis T. -Wood . . 

Pinna lata Hutt.' 

Polinices sp. 
*Psammobia lineolata Gray 

Surcula n. sp. ? . . 

Teredo heaphyi Zitt. 

Trochus sp. ? 

Turris sp. 

Turritella semiconcava Sut. ? 

Turritella patagonica Sow. 
*Turritella symmetrica Hutt. 
*Venericardia purpurata (Beah.) 


n.) ;: 

I (Gray) . . 

I'tt.) 

Zitt. 

oma) neo- 


X 

X 
X 

X 

X 

X 
X 

X 
X 

X 
X 


X 

. . 

X 


X 
X 
X 
X 

X 
X 

X 

X 
X 


X 


X 

X 

X 

X 
X 
X 
X 

X 
X 

X 


X 
X 

? 

X 


X 

X 
X 
X 

? 

X 
X 

X 
X 

? 

X 

X 
X 


V 

X 

X 

X 
X 

X 

X 

X 

X 
X 

X 

X 
X 

X 


X 

X 

X 
X 

X 
X 

X 


? 

X 

X 
X 


X 
X 

X 

X 
X 

X 

X 

X 

X 

X 
X 
X 





* Recent species. 



u 

The various members of the Greymouth Series are of course not equally fossiliferous. 
Plant-remains are abundant in the littoral beds, but are rarely well preserved. The only 
land-plant recorded from these beds as they occur in the Reefton Subdivision is 
Casuarinites* a form also found at Pakawau and the Grey River. Calcareous algge of 
several species occur in grit a few feet above the coal in Fletcher and Flaxbush creeks. 
In several localities— Rainy Creek, Waitahu River, and Fletcher Creek— the littoral 
mudstone and sandstone layers carry marine shells. Except in the case of Fletcher Creek, 
where a few shell-fragments are found in a sandstone lying beneath the coal-seam of 
the outcrop near the granite, these occurrences are confined to beds at a higher horizon 
than the coal. The marine beds below the limestone are nearly unfossiUferous in their 
lower portion, where they were laid down under off-shore conditions. As they approach 
the overlymg limestone, however, the conditions for the preservation of fossils improve, 
and these become much more common. In addition to the Mollusca tabulated on 
page 93, Hectorf has described the fragmentary remains of a gigantic penguin, and 
WoodwardJ a fossil crab, both from Seal Island, Brighton. The species of penguin, 
PalcBeudyptes antarcticus, was first described by Huxley from the Kakanui limestone of 
Oamaru; while the crab, ffaryactocarcmMS tumidus, was named by Woodward, and compared 
by him with species of the same genus occurring in the nummulitic limestone of the 
Upper Eocene of southern Europe. Sharks' teeth were observed in the upper portion of 
the Cobden limestone near Cave Point ; and echinoid remains, usually in a poor state of 
preservation, were noted in many localities. The limestone itself is to a great extent 
made up of Polyzoa and shell fragments and Foraminifera, the latter being sparingly 
scattered throughout all the marine beds of the sequence. In the marine beds of the 
Pareora group fossils are everywhere at least sparingly developed, while in some localities 
they greatly increase in number, and form shelly bands. In the deltaic phase of this 
series excellent leaf -impressions are to be found in beds close to the coal-seams of Camp 
and Rough creeks. 

PLEISTOCENE AND RECENT DEPOSITS. 

The classification of the post-Pliocene deposits of the subdivision presents many 
difficulties, and that here adopted cannot be regarded as entirely adequate. One prime 
difiiculty lies in the separation of the top-set beds of the deltaic member of the Pareora 
Series from the Pleistocene gravels. As already stated, these deltaic beds grade upward 
from unoxidized conglomerates containing only schist-fragments into yellow and brown 
gravels containing, in addition, pebbles of granite and greywacke. Now, the next 
succeeding set of gravels consist in part of a rewash of the Pareora conglomerates, and 
although generally the separation from the older series is easy, there are areas of ancient 
gravels concerning the age of which there is imcertainty. 

The classification of the more recent gravels is by erosion cycles, and is therefore 
not strictly according to age. This method of division is much more satisfactory than 
any other for deposits of this description, although occasionally it fails. This is notably 
the case in the coastal region, where near Barrytown the maritime plain, which has been 
built during three erosion periods, rises gently and without marked breaks from sea-level 
to over 200 ft. above tide-mark. The reasons for this lie in the facts that the elevation 
during each period of uplift was effected gradually, and that the coastal plain of this 
locality is in a shallow bight protected by hard promontories from the erosive action of 
the sea that otherwise, during the intervening periods of stillstand, would have cut back 
the coast at this as at other points along the shore. 

* Von Ettingshausen, Constantin : " Contributions to the Knowledge of the Fossil Flora of New Zealand." 
Trans., vol. xxiii, 1891, p. 241. Ginnamomum sp. and Fagus sp. occur in the fireclay at Burke's Creek 
Coal-mine (P. G. Morgan, M.S.). 

t " On the Remains of a Gigantic Penguin (PalcBeudyptes antarcticus) Huxley, from the Tertiary Rocks 
on the West Coast of Nelson." Trans., vol. iv, 1872, p. 341. 

J " On a New Fossil Crab from the Tertiary of New Zealand." Q.J.G.S., vol. 32, 1876, p. 51. 



95 

Pleistocene Deposits. 
Distribution. 

On the road from Blackwater to Waiuta, about two miles from the former township, 
the Palaeozoic greywacke and argillite through which Blackwater Creek has cut its gorge 
give place to well-consolidated brown and yellow gravels, which are evidently of con- 
siderable thickness. The extensive prospecting operations that in this neighbourhood 
have been prosecuted for several years with great energy have established that a large 
area of Aorere rocks are veneered with these old gravels, which also fill ancient drainage- 
channels to a depth of several hundred feet. Similar gravels occur at the head of 
Brown Creek (a branch of the Big Grey), and again in the basin of the Alexander. 
Northward toward the Inangahua the same gravels apparently cap all the ridges and 
plateau-like hills at the sources and in the basins of the Snowy and Big rivers and of 
Antonio and Slab Hut creeks. South of the Big G-rey, and overlying Tertiary beds 
with decided discordance, they form. the hill-crests in the basin of the Waipuna, whence 
they stretch from Napoleon Hill to Noble's. North of the Big Grey, beyond the 
terraces of that river, they form the hills to the west of the Aorere rocks from the 
Blackwater River to Slab Hut Creek. The gravels from which the hills between the 
head of the Mawheraiti and Inangahua have been carved contain many schist-fragments, 
and are possibly of Pareora age. Near Reef ton Pleistocene gravels lie on the Palaeozoic 
and Tertiary rocks at the heads of Soldier, Liverpool Dave, and Portugee creeks, and 
this occurrence links them to the gravels forming the high level pakihis that lie between 
the Inangahua, Waitahu, Boatman, Burk, Larry, and Landing streams. In other 
localities the gravels here classed as Pleistocene have been well carved by stream 
erosion, but these pakihis, although as high as the tops of the gravel-formed hills 
separating the Inangahua from the Mawheraiti, are level and unsculptured. The terrace 
at Reefton, however, grades into hills of Pleistocene gravel ; and all are made up of 
gravel which is as well consolidated as, and which cannot be distinguished from, the 
typical Pleistocene gravels, and it is considered that these terraces are little if at all 
younger than the Pleistocene. Northward from Landing Creek, along the foot of the 
Brunner Range, the writer did not have an opportunity of examining sections of the 
interfluvial terraces, but doubtless the highest belongs to the Pleistocene. The high 
terrace north of the Buller known as Welshman pakihi is considered to belong here, and 
with it must be correlated Manuka Flat, a similar terrace between the Lyell and Eight- 
mile creeks. Patches of coarse gravel of unknown extent occur high on the flanks of 
the Brunner Range ; they may be seen on the track to Boundary Peak, and again near 
the source of Landing Creek. 

Along the western side of the Inangahua-Grey valley opportunities for the study of 
these gravels are not numerous. Small areas, as noted by McKay, still remain on the 
limestone plateau near Inangahua Junction, near Rocklands Flat, and The Landing. 
Pleistocene gravels are also represented on the high interfluvial terraces along the 
eastern edge of the Paparoa Range, especially in the Inangahua valley. Li the 
Mawheraiti-Grey valley the wide sweep of the younger terraces confines the Pleistocene 
gravels to the very foot of the range. They may be studied where the Otututu and 
the Big rivers break from the mountains, and again in the valleys of the Moonlight and 
Roaring Meg, where they form Shetland, Stewart, and Healy terraces. 

In the coastal region fluvial gravels occur on the ridges of Miocene strata between 
the streams, where these cross the depression that lies just to the west of the mountains. 
The chief development of gravels of this age is north of Bullock Creek, and more 
especially north of the Fox River, where they are of maruic origin. South of Bullock 
Creek the ridges bearing these gravels are narrower, and they were not observed to 



96 

reacli tlie basin of the Punakaiki. Along the seaward margin of the subdivision marine 
gravels which are considered of Pleistocene age occur as isolated patches, generally 
elongated in shape, at heights varying from 450 ft. to 600 ft. above sea-level. The size 
of these patches is inconsiderable, their shape irregular, and the thickness of the beds 
small. They may be studied at the source of Deverey Creek, on the ridge between 
that stream and Canoe Creek, and again on the track leading across the cliff of Te 
Miko. Their chief development, however, is beyond the northern boimdary of the 
subdivision on the fiat top of Tuhinu Hill, and farther north at Croninville and Addison's. 
In the Reefton SubdiAdsion the writer knows of no instance where gravels of 
Pleistocene or younger age have been tilted or faulted. In several localities gravels 
overlie powerful fault-zones in which Oamaru and Pareora strata are involved. Thus 
in Burk Creek, a branch of Boatman Creek, Mr. Johnston Howell has sluiced horizontally 
disposed Pleistocene gravels on a, bottom which consists in part of a coal-seam standing 
vertically between the walls of Palaeozoic rocks. Pareora gravels, steeply tilted, occur 
close at hand, and therefore it is evident that this fault has been active since the 
Miocene. Other sections proving a similar relationship of the gravels and underlying 
Tertiaries are to be seen a few chains below Capleston, and again in Soldier Creek, near 
Reefton ; and Morgan* has described and figured an analogous occurrence at Healy 
Grully, just outside the southern boundary of the subdivision. In these localities one 
would expect signs of Quarternary faulting if such had occurred ; and its absence, 
combined with the fact that nowhere in the subdivision are Pleistocene or later gravels 
affected by faults, is presumptive evidence that the movements since the end of the 
Tertiary have been imaccompanied by differential elevation of the earth-blocks that 
make up the Reefton Subdivision. 

Nature of the Gravds and Conditions of Deposition. 

Excellent natural sections of the Pleistocene gravels occur, and those furnished by 
road-cuttings and sluicing operations provide abimdant opportunity for the study of the 
beds. The gravels are fairly well consolidated ; sluicing-faces hundreds of feet in height 
have been standing for years, nevertheless blasts for loosening the wash are rarely 
employed. The composition and texture of the gravels vary according to the nature of 
the rock that furnishes the spoil aiid the conditions of deposition. Thus in some 
localities — at Moonlight, at Blackwater, and the hills fringing the Aorere rocks northward 
to Reefton — ^the gravels are in great part formed of greywacke and argillite pebbles. On 
Merrijigs Hill, at Welshman pakihi, and along the eastern side of the graben as far 
south as the Freeth River granite enters very largely into their composition, while at 
other localities, chiefly within the rift - valley itself, much schist derived from the 
rewash of the Pareora conglomerate is to be found. The lower portions of the beds 
usually consist of well-rolled even-sized gravels, the individual pebbles of which are 
rarely 4 in. in diameter, and generally only half that size. Decomposition is widespread, 
and the beds are usually yellowish in colour, while a considerable amount of clayey and 
sandy matrix is present, and bands of this nature are occasionally developed, to the 
exclusion of the coarser material. Nevertheless, from a little distance the lower beds 
give an impression of evenness in texture. In the upper beds, however, this uniformity 
is wanting ; layers of large boulders alternate with fine shingle and sand. Sometimes 
the stones become very large and angular, thus indicating ice as the transporting agent. 
Localities that may be mentioned are from Napoleon Hill to the head of Duffer Creek, 
near Waiuta, and at several points along the track leading from that township to Big 
River. On the high swampy terrace between the Waitahu and Boatman Creek are 

* N.Z. G.S. BuU. No. 13, 1911, p. 74. 



97 

enormous masses of porphyritic granite, which could only have been carried to their 
present position by ice. The huge subangular granite rocks through which the head of 
Landing Creek takes its way appear to be morainic, but they are possibly part of the 
talus from the crest of the Brunner Range. The coarse granite wash worked for gold 
in the upper valley of Welshman Creek contains water-worn boulders of such a size as 
not even the Buller with its present grade could transport so far from the mountains. 
" The extended glacier deposits outside the limits of the mountains,"* which, in Westland, 
Morgan has shown to be due to a great piedmont glacier, have been traced by McKay 
as far up the Grey valley as Napoleon Hill and DufEer Creek. The present writer has 
noted glacial material near and beyond Waiuta, occurrences directly in line with the 
edge of the great glacier as determined by Morgan and McKay, thus indicating its 
extension northward of the Big Grey. In this locality the mountains which fed the ice 
of the low country are quite close, and the piedmont glacier may not have extended 
north far beyond this point. In this connection it may be stated that the gravels of 
Merrijigs and the vicinity are undoubtedly fluviatile, and not fluvio-glacial. It is 
probable that the most northerly feeder of the ice-lobe came down the upper valley 
of the Inangahua, and turned southward over the area now drained by the headwaters 
of the Alexander and Snowy rivers. In Pleistocene times a great glacier came down 
the valley of the Waitahu, and ended near Capleston. It is not unreasonable also to 
assign the morainic-looking gravels of upper Landing Creek to a glacier from the Larry 
valley, and to consider the coarse gravels of Welshman pakUai as re-sorted from the 
terminal moraine of a glacier descending the Buller through the Lyell Gorge. On the 
western side of the Grey-Inangahua valley undoubted moraines occur above the gorges 
in the valleys of the Te Wharau, Otututu, and Freeth rivers, in addition to a doubtful 
deposit in the AVhitefoord, while the Waitakere river rises in a glaciated trough. 
In the upper valleys of other large streams draining from the Paparoa Mountains and 
in the coastal region of the subdivision no ftraces of Pleistocene glaciation were 
noted. t 

On the road from Blackwater to Waiuta there is clear evidence that the Pleistocene 
gravels fill drainage-channels which had been excavated to a level lower than that of 
the present stream-beds. On the Snowy River above the Millerton Claim, and again 
near the Big Grey Bridge, what look like Pleistocene gravels rise as blufis from the river 
flood-plains. On the right bank of the Waitahu, below the bridge on the short track 
to Capleston, thick layers of gravel may be seen unconformably overlying Upper 
Miocene beds. Down-stream the surface of contact approaches the river-level, and at 
a point a little more than a mile from the bridge the Pleistocene gravels form cliffs 
which rise from a flood-plain a few feet above the river. Thus within the Reefton 
Subdivision there is evidence in two widely separated localities that between the Upper 
Miocene and Pleistocene (probably during the latter period) drainage-channels had 
been cut lower than the present stream-beds. Along the coast there is no evidence 
that the land at that time stood at a higher level than now, nor would one expect 
to find traces of such an elevation in a locality exposed to the attacks of the sea. 

To accoimt adequately for all the facts it is necessary to postulate that the 
post-Miocene uplift continued until the land stood higher than at present. 
During the period of elevation valleys were excavated, and these were not always 
in the same position as those of the present streams. The main difference, however, 
is believed to have been in the drainage of the Inangahua-Grey grabeu, which it is 
considered at this period was occupied by a single river-system that emptied to the 



* McKay, A. : " Geology of the South-west Part of Nelson and the Northern Part of the Nelson 
District." Mines Report, C.-13, 1895, pp. 19, 20. 

t Soo, however, N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17, 1915, pp. 49, 56, 93, and 11.3. 

7 — Reefton. 



98 

sea probably southward of Hokitika. In the chapter dealing with the structure of 
the subdivision it was pointed out that the grabsn was floored by a series of elongated 
earth-blocks having a general pitch to the southward. The upper portions of these 
blocks are formed of strata of Upper Miocene and probably Pliocene age, and these 
are unconformably succeeded by the Pleistocene deposits here considered. It may be 
assumed then that this great structural trough when lifted above sea-level was occupied 
by a stream, which enlarged the valley it found ready-made for itself. On page 50 is 
given a table showing the breadth of this valley at various points, as preserved by 
subsequent infilling by Pleistocene deposits and modified during its re-excavation by 
recent stream erosion. It will be noted that the old valley rapidly narrows north- 
ward, and beyond Landing Creek little or no trace of it remains until Welshman 
pakihi is reached, where its floor, covered by Pleistocene gravels to a depth of nearly 
200 ft., occurs more than 900 ft. above sea-level. 

After the formation of the river-valley the land was depressed, and eventually sank 
until the strand-line was from 500 ft. to 600 ft. higher than at present. In spite of 
this depression the sea does not seem to have invaded the lower end of the valley — 
at least, no deposits of this age other than fluviatile gravels have yet been recognized. 
It is probable that the vast supplies of spoil fed to the river by the glaciers of this 
period sufficed to aggrade the river-bed and at the same time to maintain the coast-line 
in its old position. The deposits of this age may then be considered to be for the 
most part the gravels of the outwash plain from the piedmont ice-sheet, and farther 
north gravels from the river-trains of the valley glaciers. This view is supported by 
the nature of the great bulk of the deposits here referred to the Pleistocene, consisting 
as they do of even-sized and sometimes incompletely roimded stones set in a relatively 
great amount of sandy and clayey matrix. It is not contended that the land- 
depression above mentioned brought about a reduction in the intensity of glaciation ; 
indeed, such direct evidence as there is suggests that the greatest extension of the 
glaciers was at the period of maximum land-depression. Thus the Pleistocene moraines 
of the ancient Waitahu glacier, and those of the piedmont glacier at Waiuta and 
Napoleon Hill, overlie the gravels of this age. Glaciers in their retreat frequently leave 
hollows that are occupied by lakes, and probably the horizontally bedded silts that 
near Waiuta smother an old land-surface to a depth of from 50 ft. to 80 ft. are 
deposits in a lake of similar origin. These silts and clays were also noted on the 
plateau-like country toward the head of the Big Eiver, where, as at Waiuta, they 
are covered by coarse granitic gravels. 

Age and Correlation. 

The gravels here considered, although they contain no interior evidence of age, 
have been placed in the Pleistocene. This has been done because they overlie with 
great unconformity the Pareora beds, which are regarded as of Upper Miocene age. 
On the other hand, they are decidedly older than the Recent gravels of the lowlands, 
and, moreover, were laid down under conditions which have long since ceased to 
prevail. 

These gravels form the chief portion of McKay's Old Man Bottom series. This 
geologist, although as early as 1874 he had distinguished the occurrence of two 
conglomerates among the hills between the Inangahua and Mawheraiti rivers — the 
upper, yellow in colour and composed of argillite, greywacke, and granite, and the 
lower, blue, containing only mica-schist pebbles " without the slightest fragment of 
granite in it "* — does iiot in any subsequent report attempt to separate them. As 

* Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1873-74, No. 8, 1877, p. 85. 



99 

stated on a preceding page, the conglomerate-bands containing only schist-fragments 
are interbedded with and form part of the beds classed as the Pareora in this 
report. All writers are agreed in correlating the beds now under consideration with 
the Moutere Gravels of Nelson, deposits which it is well known un conformably overlie 
the Port Hills beds of that district.* 

, Recent Deposits. 

In a preceding chapter the physiographical effects of recent intermittent elevation 
were discussed, and an attempt was made to correlate the beach deposits and the 
wave-cut platforms of the coast with the river-terraces of the Grey-Inangahua graben. 
It was shown that three strand-lines in addition to the present shore are indicated, 
and that these correspond with the flood-plains and terrace-sets of the river-systems. 
In the last section it was stated that during or at the close of the Pleistocene a 
depression of the land had taken place, and that the uplifts of later time did not 
equal this depression. The beginning of the later movements of elevation is taken 
to mark the close of the Pleistocene .f In some localities the line of demarcation 
between deposits of Pleistocene and Recent age is, in the field, difficult to draw, 
while in others the age of particular gravel-beds is in doubt. In this classification 
the highest set of marine beach deposits is considered to have been formed during 
the period of equilibrium between the Pleistocene depression and the Recent elevation. 
Similarly the high pakLhis that are so prominent a feature of the eastern side of 
the Inangahua valley, and that are developed to a less extent along its western 
side, are remnants of an ancient flood -plain formed during this period of rest. For 
the same reason the highest terraces of the Big Grey, lying between Mossy Creek 
and the Blackwater River, are also placed in the Pleistocene, while other terraces 
of both the river-systems, though very little less in height, are believed to be ordinary 
stream-terraces, and not renanants of wide flood-plains. Thus these later terraces 
are considered Recent, although they probably consist of Pleistocene beds with a 
thin veneer of later gravels. 

Marine Beds. 

These differ but little from the similar beds of Pleistocene age. They consist 
of well-rolled gravels, of which even the smallest pebbles are quite smooth. With 
them are associated layers of blacksand which, by the action of meteoric waters, 
has been oxidized to a greater or less extent, and has cemented many feet of the 
gravels. Beds of unconsolidated sand, usually buff-coloured and containing occasional 
small stones, occur. Similar beds are accumulating along the present shore-line, 
the only differences being the slight amount of consolidation and the oxidation of 
the blacksand. As above stated, they occur along two elevated strand-lines, the 
highest of which may be termed the " 200 ft. strand-line," although deposits occur 
from 180 ft. to 250 ft. above sea-level. The beds at this level are developed 
continuously as a narrow strip from the northern boundary of the subdivision to 
the Fox River. South of the Fox only patches are found until the rock platform 
jutting into the sea as a blunt promontory between the cliff of Te Miko and Omonehu 
Creek is reached. North of the Punakaiki a small area of marine gravels occur at this 
level, while south of it they are developed continuously to Canoe Creek, and again 
occur as narrow streaks as far south as Barrytown. From 60 ft. to 100 ft. above the 

* McKay, A. : " The Baton River and Wangapeka Districts, and Mount Arthur Range " ; Rep. Geol. 
Explor. during 1878-79, No. 12, 1879, p. 131. Park, J. : " On the Geology of the Owen and Wangapeka 
Goldfields"; Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1887-88, No. 19, 1888, p. 78. N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 12, 1911, p. 2G. 

f The use of this criterion leads to the inclusion in Recent deposits of a large portion of the beds 
classed by McKay and other writers as Pleistocene. 

7*— Beef ton. 



100 

present sea-level, wave-cut benches strewn with beach deposits were noted near St. 
Kilda, and again south from the Fox as far as Mabel Bay. This line of beach is 
best seen from Seal Island southward for two miles. The Barrytown coastal plain 
has evidently been in course of formation continuously since the time of the 200 ft. 
strand, from which height it slopes gently down to sea-level. James Mackay,* one 
of the early Wardens, records that no fewer than four old beach-lines may be traced 
across it. From Canoe Creek it is delimited on the east by a sea-cliff capped by 
the gravels of the 200 ft. strand-line. Along the base of this the 80 ft. rock bench 
may occasionally be seen. The narrow coastal plains north of Brighton, and between 
the Ten-mile and Seventeen-mile bluffs, belong to a very recent slight elevation. 

Fluviatile Gravels. 

The numerous streams of the subdivision have terraces and flood-plains, wide 
m the Grey-Inangahua valley and much less extensive in the hills and mountains. 
Like the Eecent marine deposits, the fluviatile gravels of the rift-valley have been 
profoundly influenced by the intermittent elevations of recent times. Thus the gravels 
of the present flood-plains of the Buller and Inangahua, from the junction to Landing 
Creek, belong to the present period of erosion, initiated when the strand-line moved 
downward from the 80 ft. rock platform. Along the Grey the effect of this uplift 
is just beginning to be felt by the river as it leaves the subdivision. In. the coastal 
region the Fox, Porarari, and Punakaiki, where they do not flow in gorges, have 
the flood-plains of this period right to the foot of the range. 

The flood-plains which belong to the erosion period represented on the coast by 
the 80 ft. strand-line are well shown along the Liangahua from Landing Creek to 
Reef ton. Li the Grey valley they reach to Willing's Flat on the Big Grey, and 
taper out on the Mawheraiti near Maimai. 

The pause in elevation which permitted the waves to cut so prominent a shelf 
at the 200 ft. strand-line is represented in the great graben by the wide-stretching 
terraces of the Grey and Mawheraiti. The so-called plains formed by these terraces 
are by no means featureless — frequently they are traversed by well-marked terraces ; 
but these are insignificant when compared with the close-cut terrace-steps that 
divide them from the present flood-plains of the streams. Li the Inangahua valley 
the separation of the flood-plain from the higher terraces is in most places very 
marked ; but sometimes the tendency, common to aU terraces, of grading up-stream 
into the present flood-plain makes separation more difficult than is the case in the 
Grey valley. Again, the level of these higher terraces is not so tmiform as is the 
case with those of the Grey, for the terrace-series here has not been formed by a 
stream which long maintained a given river-level. In the coastal region, gravels 
which may be referred to the erosion period of the 200 ft. strand-line veneer the 
Blue Bottom beds of the piedmont depression between the Porarari and Bullock 
Creek. High terraces between the limestone hills and the Paparoa Range, developed 
in the valleys of the Porarari and the branches of the Fox, belong to this period. 
For further information in respect to the distribution and history of these gravels the 
reader is referred to page 46 et seq. 

Hitherto the gravels of the intermontane valleys have not been considered, but 
in the upper valleys of all the larger mountain-streams considerable areas of fluviatile 
and moramic deposits are to be found. These areas are separated from the lowlands 
by rock-boimd gorges of varying depth and difficulty. It has been pointed out in 
a preceding chapter that the rejuvenation of the streams of the subdivision, due to 
the last uplift, affects only the coastal region and part of the Buller basin ; and the 

* Wardens' reports, 1881, H.-26, p. 20. 



101 

writer believes that the lower gorges of the mountain-ftreams flowing to the rift- 
valley belong to the elevations that brought the 500 ft. and 200 ft. erosion periods 
to a close. The gravel-deposits of the upland valleys, therefore, although frequently 
no higher than the present flood-plains of the streams in these localities, are mapped 
as belonging to the 500 ft. erosion period, while doubtless also gravels of true 
Pleistocene age are present. 

Glacial and Fluvio-glacial Deposits. 

Extensive intermontane glacial deposits, of an age undoubtedly younger than the 
Pleistocene as defined on a previous page, occur within the subdivision. The best 
example is furnished by the moraine of the ancient Inangahua glacier, which extends 
from Stevenson Flat nearly to Welsh's farm, and lies in a valley hundreds of feet below 
the Pleistocene gravels capping the hills of the basins of the Alexander, Snowy, and Big 
rivers. Morainic material also occurs at many places higher up the same valley, 
deposited as the glacier shrank. La that portion of the basin of the Waitahu within 
the subdivision the writer saw no imdoubted moraine of this age, but much of the 
gravels near the forks is probably fluvio-glacial, while the wide upper valleys have every 
appearance of having been modified by ice-action. In the north branch of Larry's, just 
on the subdivision boundary, occur huge granite boulders which are almost certamly 
ice-borne, but these may well be of Pleistocene age. At the sources of many of the 
mountain-streams are ice-cut tarns ; and some of the loose angular material found so 
frequently in these localities may be moraine, although much of it doubtless grades into 
talus. Such deposits may be of very recent origin, although at present no permanent 
snowfields or glaciers exist in the subdivision. 

Sand-dunes. 

The only deposit which may be referred to the action of the wind occupies a few 
acres immediately to the south of the mouth of the Porarari. The greater part is grassed, 
and may perhaps be a raised beach, but to the "west a low but undoubted foredime 
faces the sea. 

Talus. 

Scree deposits are exceedingly common on the mountains above the bush-line, and 
with these shoiild also be considered the low ridges on the south-eastward-facing slopes 
of Mount Raoulia, which, as already stated, are winter-talus accumulations. The vast 
slip of which the debris embarrasses the Otututu for many miles, the similar occurrence 
in a small branch discharging into the gorge of the Te Wharau, and the older slip at 
the head of the Blackball are undoubtedly conditioned by the existence of fracture- 
zones near these localities. 

IGNEOUS ROCKS. 
Distribution. 

Igneous rocks of various types cover 272^ square miles in the Eeeftou Subdivision, 
or rather more than a quarter of the whole area. They occur in three main masses, 
forming the bulk of the Paparoa, Brunner, and Victoria ranges. Li addition, these 
resistant rocks cover a portion of the Orikaka uplands, and outcrop from beneath 
Tertiary strata at various points along the coast. The rocks themselves consist of 
granites of various types, gneiss, and quartz-porphyry, while, in addition, dykes of acid, 
intermediate, and basic composition traverse the plutonic and adjacent sedimentary rocks. 

The oldest rock is undoubtedly the gneiss that forms the western portion of the 
Paparoa Range from the Fox River northward. South of the Fox its western edge is 



102 

flanked by Tertiary breccia and conglomerate. Granite limits the gneissic rocks on tlie 
east. The junction on this side, however, was nowhere noted, and the rocks have not 
been separated on the maps. Roughly, it may be stated that the upper valley of the 
Otututu, which is excavated along a fracture-zone, separates the two rocks. Mount Uriah 
and the ridges to the west of the valley being formed of gneiss, while the mountains on 
the east side are granite. Farther south mounts Marshall and Johnston are of gneiss, 
which also outcrops toward the head of Mirfin Creek, the lower outcrops being of granite. 
In the Freeth River the plutonic rocks are gneiss, which in the lower part of the gorge 
is penetrated by large granite dykes, while in the Pike the rock is entirely granite, which 
sometimes becomes gneissoid. Another area of gneiss outcrops beneath the Miocene 
strata at St. Kilda, and contmues along the shore-line to beyond the subdivision, forming 
the shelf-like plateau known as Tuhinu Hill. It should be noted that a contact of 
Palaeozoic sediments and of gneiss was nowhere observed. 

By far the greater proportion of the remaining igneous rocks of the Paparoa Range 
is granite, often granitoid in texture, and also frequently porphyritic. The main 
mass stretches southward from the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision, forming the eastern 
ridges of the Paparoa Range as far south as the Otututu River. In the southern 
portion of these mountains several isolated areas of granite occur, the largest of which 
outcrops in the Pike, Slaty, and Granite streams. A smaller area occurs on the western 
flank of the range at Barrytown, reaching from Fagin Creek on the south to Clarke 
Creek on the north, a distance of over two miles. Another very small exposure outcrops 
in a right-hand branch of the Punakaiki, in the heart of the. range ; while a still 
smaller fragment, involved in the Lower Buller fault-zone, appears on the edge of the 
range in Dilemma Creek. With the exception of the last-mentioned occurrence, all these 
areas are of rock obviously intrusive into the greywacke and argillite of the Aorere 
Series ; and since the contact surface of such injections are exceedingly irregular, the 
boundaries of the various exposures as mapped are very rough, and little better than 
guesswork. The occurrence of acid dykes south of the Seventeen-mile Bluff indicates 
that the granite batholith rmderlies the sedimentary rocks at least as far south as this, 
since dykes of this nature seldom penetrate the overlying rock far from their parent 
mass. Along the coast-line the Gentle Annie Rocks, a name given to an exceedingly 
rugged portion of the shore about two miles in length, is formed of granite. 

The granite bosses fornung the Brunner and Victoria ranges, though apparently 
separated by Aorere rocks, are directly connected to the eastward of the subdivision, 
and, in addition, undoubtedly exist beneath the ancient sediments, through which, indeed, 
at many points they appear, exposed by denudation. The basin of Larry Creek in its 
upper part is fairly free from faults, and affords excellent opportunities for the study 
of contact phenomena, which may also be observed along the gorge of the Buller from 
Lyell eastward, for here the road follows the contact fairly closely. The granite area 
developed west of Welshman pakihi is probably separated from that to the east of the 
Buller only by a veneer of Tertiary rocks, and, if so, must be considered a part of the 
Brunner mass. 

Quartz-porphyry in direct continuation with that of the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision 
occurs in the Inangahua Survey District. The principal outcrops are in the gorges of 
the Orikaka River and Welshman Creek ; but minor outcrops associated with grejn^racke, 
and evidently part of the penetration fringe of the intrusion, occur at the junction of the 
Inangahua and Buller, opposite the mouth of Welshman Creek, and again near Burley's 
coal-mine east of Berlin's. 

Dykes of pegmatite, aplite, microgranite, and granite-porphyry are common in the 
granites of the subdivision. They rarely occur in the sedimentary rocks, and then only 
in the metamorphic aureole next the igneous intrusion. The only exceptions — and these 



103 

are probably more apparent than real — are the pair of aplitic dykes outcropping on the 
beach a little south of the Seventeen-mile Bluff ; and as these traverse slightly altered 
greywacke it is probable that the subjacent stock is close beneath. A very large mass 
of garnet-bearing pegmatite occurs in the headwater valley of the Otututu, but whether 
bhis is in the nature of a huge dyke or of an irregular igneous body was not ascertained. 

Dykes of intermediate composition and of many types are by no means rare in the 
granites, but seem to be confined to them and their immediate neighbourhood. A great 
mass of quartz-diorite occurs in Welshman Creek. Its exact relationship could not be 
made out, but it is apparently a large mass in close connection with the granodiorite of 
that locality, rather than a regular dyke filling a fissure. 

Basic dykes are also a common feature of the subdivision, and those traversing the 
igneous rocks are of many types. Those occurring in the sedimentary rocks, however, 
are of one kind only — diabase ; and this rock was found neither in situ in the main 
plutonic masses nor as shoad in streams draining country composed entirely of such 
rocks. Dykes of this rock are most common in the lode-bearing zones of the Aorere 
rocks — ^in fact, they are a constant feature of them. Nevertheless, they also occur 
where no quartz veins were observed, and appear to have a regional distribution. 

The age of the plutonic rocks of the subdivision is a matter on which no very 
defniite statement can be made. The various intrusions of plutonic rock are closely 
related to each other chemically, and the two main masses of the Paparoa and Brimner- 
Victoria, mountains form composite batholiths* : they may, indeed, be parts of the same 
batholith. If this hypothesis be accepted it may be supposed that the first group of 
injections is represented by the gneiss and the second by the granites. This theory 
requires that the first injection of relatively cold pasty material was made in such a 
manner as to produce a gneissoid structure, and was followed soon afterwards by a 
second injection of decidedly hotter and chemically similar material under conditions that 
only occasionally produced a gneissoid structure, the dioritic rocks and the quartz- 
porphyry being differentiates of the mass of the latter injection. This will also explain 
why the gneiss is practically devoid of dykes except where adjoining the granite, while 
the granite contains them in great number. A second and more plausible hypothesis 
postulates that the gneisses are very much older than the other plutonic rocks, that 
they were formed imder different conditions, and have been subjected to stresses other 
than those that have affected the granites, &c. It is suggested that they are older than 
the Aorere Series,t and that they formed the epicontinental shelf on which these sediments 
were deposited. Nowhere, however, within the subdivision was an actual contact 
between gneiss and the Palaeozoic sediments observed, although at numerous points the 
junction of these latter rocks with the intrusive granites and quartz-porphyry may be 
studied. The Reefton Subdivision thus affords positive evidence that some of the 
granite is younger than the Aorere rocks and the gneisses, but no conclusive evidence 
concerning the relative age of the gneiss and the Palaeozoic sediments. 

The intrusive plutonic rocks of the subdivision must be correlated with similar rocks 
in North Westland and West Nelson as a whole. HuttonJ also correlates them with the 
eruptive granites of Western Otago and Stewart Island. Some years previously this 
geologist also separated the gneisses and schists of his Manapouri System of Archaean 
age from these intrusive rocks, § and in this he is followed by Park|| and Marshall.]! 



* Daly, R. A. : " Geology of the North American Cordillera at the Forty-ninth Parallel." Memoir 38, 
Uopt. of Minos, Canada, 1912, p. 722. 

t Cf. N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 17, 1915, p. 97. 

X " The Geological History of New Zealand." Trans., vol. xxxii, 1900, ]). 104. 

§ " Sketch of the Geology of Now Zealand." Q.J.G.S., vol. 41, 1885, p. 215. 

II GtHjlogy of New Zealand, 1910, pp. 30, 41. 

II Geology of New Zealand, 1912, i)p 175, 188. 



104 

Grneisses have also an extensive development in North Westland, and Morgan* considers 
some of them of greater age than the intrusive granites. Parkf long ago noted that 
the stratified rocks of the Pikikiruna Eange, which he considered of Aorere age, rest 
upon a denuded surface of granite, a conclusion, however, denied by Thomson.^ Again 
in the Parapara Subdivision, in conglomerates of the Haupiri Series, considered to be of 
Devonian age, pebbles derived from acidic igneous rocks have been noted by Bell, Webb, 
and Clarke.§ Marshall|| has described granites and porphyries from a Triassic conglomerate 
in the Nelson district, an occurrence of which the significance seems first to have been 
pointed out by Park,^ while Cox** had long before noted a similar boulder-bed in rocks 
of approximately the same age in the Southland district. In this latter region, according 
to Marshall,|f the Maitai sediments, of which the oldest are of Triassic age, appear to 
be unconformable to the Manapouri System, which contains much plutonic rock and is 
of supposed Archgean age. From the above statements it may safely be concluded 
that acidic plutonic rocks occur in New Zealand that are certainly older than the 
Devonian and probably older than the Silurian (Aorere). 

There is another line of argument by which this subject may be approached, that 
which uses the structural features as a basis. The association of extensive igneous 
intrusions with orogenic movements is well known. The latest movement of this kind 
affecting the West Coast occurred in Late Mesozoic times, when the vast thickness of 
beds in a geos5Ticlinal, filled during the Triassic and Jurassic periods, were folded and 
overthrust against the foreland of which the Reefton Subdivision forms a part. In 
addition to the granite bosses of North Westland, with which the intrusive granites of 
this subdivision must be correlated, and which are probably the result of this period of 
mountain-building,JJ are small areas of granite and acid diorite occurring near the head 
of the Maruia in the marbles and schists developed along the great Alpine overthrust. 
These rocks are not in the least gneissoid, and are not sheared or crushed. Mackay's 
Bluff, near Nelson, may also be quoted. Thus it is prcbable that some of the acid 
igneous rocks of the West Coast were intruded subsequently to the mountain-folding. 
On a later page an attempt is made to show that the auriferous veins of the 
subdivision are a product of the after-effects of the igneous intrusions. Now, the main 
mineralized belt may be traced southward until the lodes actually traverse the folded 
rocks of the Alps. Thus, providing the premises above stated are sound, the conclusion 
is probable that the folding of the mountains was prior to the intrusion of some of the 
granite. From this discussion the writer tentatively concludes that the true gneisses are 
of pre-Aorere age, and that the intrusive granite is of Late Mesozoic age. 

In regard to the age of the dykes, the evidence is of a most meagre description, and 
much of what can be said must be regarded as pure speculation. The acidic dykes 
generally are regarded as being little younger than the granite they penetrate, and to a 
certain extent the same is true of those of intermediate composition. These, the 
vogesites, quartz-diorites, and feldspar-porphyries, have field relations similar to those of 
the pegmatites. 

The basic dykes, which present a much more interesting problem, probably were 
injected during two periods — the one during the principal act of the Mesozoic intrusion 

* N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 6, 1908, p. 82. 

t " On the Geology of Collingwood CoTuity, Nelson." Rep. Geol. Explor. 1888-89, No. 20, 1890, p. 231. 

J 7th Ann. Rep. N.Z. G.S., C.-2, 1913, p. 132. 

§ N.Z. G.S. BuU. No. 3, p. 71. 

II " Boulders in a Triassic Conglomerate, Nelson." Trans., vol. xxxvi, 1904, pp. 367-71. 

ji " On the Geology of the Owen and Wangapeka Goldfields." Rep. Geol. Explor. 1887-88, No. 19. 
1888, p. 84. 

** " Report on the Geology of the Hokanui Ranges, Southland." Rep. Geol. Explor. 1877-78, No. 11, 
1878, p. 47. 

tt Geology of New Zealand, 1912, p. 174. 

Jt Morgan, P. G. : N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 6, 1908, p. 71. 



105 

and the other during tte Late Tertiary. The dykes of dolerite or diabase are constantly 
associated with the auriferous lodes, with the strike of which they frequently conform. 
Although the diabasic rocks are readily recognized in the field, no instance in which they 
cut other igneous rocks has been observed,* nor are they known to occur as pebbles in 
streams exclusively draining granite regions. Coxf notes the occurrence of a dyke 
similar to the diabase in the North Star timnel near the head of Murray Creek, in 
the greywacke east of Lake Mapourika in South Westland. Bell, Webb, and Clarke J 
mention the occurrence of diabase and gabbroid rocks in the Parapara Subdivision, 
where they occur, however, only in connection with the Palaeozoic sediments. Morgan 
and Bartrum§ describe and figure a dolerite collected as a fragment in greywacke debris 
from the BuUer-Mokihinui Subdivision. Thus it is probable that the diabasic dykes are 
older than the intrusive granites of the West Coast region. 

If comparison be made between the dolerite and rocks of similar silica percentage 
penetrating the granite|| it will be found that in the former the alumina and alkali 
content are decidedly lower and the lime percentage decidedly higher, while iron is 
usually lower and magnesia higher than in the case with the dykes traversing granite. 
From this it is an obvious inference that the two sets of dykes are not connected, and 
were probably intruded at different periods. There is not one important mine in the 
Eeefton district within the workings of which or near which a diabase dyke has not 
been discovered. On the other hand, certain diabase dykes are near no quartz lode, a 
notable example being furnished by the largest mass so far discovered^ — that outcropping 
on the track to Kirwan Hill near the head of Boatman Creek, and apparently forming 
a large plug. In the Mount Radiant Subdivision, where the lodes are probably of 
approximately the same age as those of Reefton, no diabase dykes are recorded. In 
a later section an attempt is made to show that the quartz lodes of the subdivision are 
in the closest connection with the pegmatitic veins, which are universally admitted to be 
genetically related to granite-magmas. Thus the general association of the diabasic 
dykes and the quartz lodes is physical, and not genetic. It has arisen because the 
dykes and the veins occupy fissures in a fracture-zone older than both. 

The mode of occurrence of the diabasic dykes and the granites is most readily explained 
by means of the " basaltic substratum " theory of R. A. Daly.^ This hypothesis, 
which is supported by a great mass of facts, postulates among other things that the 
magma of any great intrusion is, during the initial stage, basaltic in nature, and 
consequently any dykes formed during its injection have a like composition, while the 
granite and its satellitic igneous rocks arise from the differentiation of the original 
basaltic magma. The diabases of the subdivision closely resemble each other in 
composition, far more than do any other similar series of dykes on the West Coast. 
They resemble in composition the average basalt as given by Daly,** and calculated from 
nearly two htmdred analyses. 

The other basic rocks of the subdivision have the composition of pyroxeuite, 
camptonite, and basic basalt. The first-mentioned rock forms two large dykes in 
Mirfin Creek, a branch of the OtUtutu, in which river, as also in the Inangahua and 
Waitahu, boulders of a similar rock occur. The dykes are obviously formed almost 
entirely of hornblende, and have the composition of websterite, a type of rock hitherto 

* Hutton in " Note on the Geology of the Country about Lyell," Trans., vol. xxii, 1890, p. 389, records 
the occurrence of a dyke of " hornblende dolerite " in granite. From his description the rock is evidently 
a lamprophyre, and not a diabase. 

t " Report on Westland District." Rep. Geol. Explor. 1874-76, No. 9, 1877, p. 77. 

} N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 3, 1907, p. 70 and maps. 

§ N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17, 1915, p. 104. 

II The dyke, the analysis of which is given as No. 13 on p. 110, is excepted. 

i " Geology of the North American Cordillera at the Forty-ninth Parallel." G.S. of Canada, Memoir 
No. 38, 1912, p. 780. ** Op. cit., p. 685. 



106 

reported only from north-west Otago* and the Dun Mountain,f in close association 
with the ultra-basic intrusions of those districts. Possibly all these occurrences may be 
correlated in time, but the only legitimate inference is that in these localities crustal 
stresses found relief by the intrusion of dykes when the injected magmas had reached 
a similar stage of difierentiation. If Daly's hypothesis — that magmas as initially 
intruded are basaltic, and that the first differentiate is ultra-basic and is separated 
long before any part of the mass approaches granite in composition — be correct, 
the pyroxenite dykes in the gneiss of Mirfin Creek strongly suggest that this gneiss is 
older than the intrusive granite of the subdivision. 

Long ago the presence of volcanic rocks in association with Tertiary limestone 
was noted by CoxJ at the Abbey Rocks and near the Pariuga River, in South 
Westland. The one sample the writer has seen of these rocks is that of a fuie- 
grained lava containing a great deal of olivine. Bell and Fraser§ and Morgan|| 
note a similar association of limestone and volcanic rock at Koiterangi Hill, ten 
miles south of Hokitika. The latter geologist also reports the existence of basic 
lava in the Blackball district,^ probably in connection with Tertiary strata. Pebbles 
of a basic effusive rock were observed in the beds of several streams draining from 
the Paparoa Range, notably in the Punakaiki, Otututu, and Te Wharau rivers. 
Dykes of camptonite traverse the Hawk Crag breccia in the BuUer-Mokihinui Sab- 
division.** The correlation of the camptonites in the granites with the olivine- basalt 
of Koiterangi Hill, first made by Bell and Fraser,§ received some confirmation 
by the last-mentioned discovery, and is regarded by the writer as decidedly probable. 
These more or less alkaline ultra-basic rocks are generally considered to be the last 
differentiation-product of an igneous magma. The rocks have probably all been 
injected or extravasated during the same period of crustal movement, the differences 
in composition having arisen from the various occurrences having been derived from 
bodies of molten rock that, although differentiation - products of the same initial 
magma, have become separated by the irregular freezing of the mass, and have not 
reached the same stage in the process of differentiation. 

Petrology and Composition. 

Plutonic Rocks and Acid Dykes. 

The plutonic rocks of the subdivision differ in no essential respect from the 
similar rocks of the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision ; and for a petrological description 
of the granites, gneisses, diorite, and quartz-porphyry the reader is referred to that 
publication. Similar remarks apply to the pegmatites and aplites. Dykes of granite- 
porphyry with a microgranitic groundmass also occur. Sometimes the phenocrysts 
are entirely suppressed, when a microgranite results. In these and related rocks 
the structure is never granophyric, as in many of the North Westlandff rocks of 
this type, but always microgranitic. Analyses of the rocks here mentioned are 
given below (page 109, Nos. 1 to 8). 

Feldspar-porphyrite. 

Large intrusive masses of feldspar-porphyrite occur in the basin of Deep Creek 
(Waitahu Survey District), one near the junction of Willis Creek and the other in 

* Marshall, P. : " Geological Notes on the Country North-west of Lake Wakatipu." Trans., vol. xxxviii, 
1906, p. 564. 

fN.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 12, 1911, p. 30. 

{ " Report on Westland District." Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1874-76, No. 9, 1877, pp. 81-83. 

§ N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 1, 1906, p. 82. || N.Z. G.S. BuU. No. 6, 1908, p. 138. H N.Z. G.S. BuU. 

No. 13, 1911, p. 81. ** N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17, 1915, p. 104. ft N.Z. G.S. BuU. No. 13, 1911, p. 79. 



107 

the upper valley of Golden Lead Creek, while a dyke of the same material 6 ft. 
wide was cut in No. 9 level (south) of the Big Eiver Mine. Boulders of similar 
rock occur in the beds of Flaxbush and Dee streams (Inangahua Survey District). 
All the outcrops of this rock were decidedly decomposed, and for this reason a sample 
from the dyke in the Big River Mine was selected for analysis (No. 9, page 109). 
This, however, has evidently been altered by lode-forming solutions, which have added 
potash, carbon dioxide, and water, and abstracted silica and lime. 

In hand-specimens the rock shows abundant tabular feldspar crystals, up to half 
an inch across, and a few small phenocrysts of augite and mica set in a fine-grained 
greyish-green matrix. Under the microscope the feldspar is seen to be sharply idio- 
morphic and strongly zoned, and ranges through various grades of labradorite. The 
other phenocrysts consist of brown biotite showing resorption borders, and augite altered 
to hornblende and epidote. The groundmass is fine-grained and apparently holo- 
crystalline, and consists essentially of feldspar in small prisms, with a little interstitial 
chloritic material and perhaps quartz. Grains of iron-ore are fairly abundant, and, 
judged from the occurrence of leucoxene close to many of them, probably consist of 
ilmenite. 

Lamprophyres. ^ 

Mica- and hornblende-lamprophyres are represented in the pebbles of the streams. 
The range of varieties is nearly complete, and, except in the case of the camptonites, 
specimens may be obtained showing that the rocks are closely related to each other. 
Doubtless, also, pebbles of different types were yielded by one and the same dyke. No 
unusual features are exhibited, and sections will not be described in detail. Typical 
minettes and kersantites are rare, but the hornblende-bearing varieties are common, and 
show gradations into true vogesites and spessartites on the one hand and relationships 
with the mica-diorites on the other. Frequently the spessai-tites contain stout well- 
shaped phenocrysts of greenish-brown hornblende, and a similar feature is exhibited by 
some odinites, which differ from the spessartites only in that the hornblende of the 
groundmass is developed more abundantly, and in slender sharply idiomorphic prisms. 
All the spessartites contain diopside in grains and aggregates, and sometimes this 
mineral occurs in greater amount than the hornblende. 

Lamprophyric rocks were found in situ at two points only : one a dyke of horn- 
blende-minette a few inches thick occurring in the fine-grained granite exposed in the 
cutting on the Reefton-Maruia Road, a few chains without the subdivision ; the other 
apparently an iri'egular segregation of mica-vogesite on the northern slopes of the 
western peak of Mount Albert (Waitahu Survey District). The first-mentioned rock 
consists essentially of feldspar and mica, with subordinate greenish-brown hornblende. 
Diopside, sphene, apatite, and iron-ores are accessories. The feldspar is chiefly orthoclase, 
with a little oligoclase, while the hornblende consists of ragged prisms containing 
zonally distributed inclusions of iron-ore. The rock from Mount Albert is similar, but 
contains a greater proportion of hornblende and plagioclase. Samples of these rocks 
were analysed (Nos. 10 and 11, pages 109 and 110). 

Camptonites and Basalts. 
Typical camptonites, showing deep-brown idiomorphic hornblende in two generations 
with subordinate augite and occasional phenocrysts of decomposed olivine, occur as 
pebbles. A dyke of camptonite, crushed by fault-movements subsequent to its con- 
solidation, occurs in the gorge of the Freeth River (Waiwhero Survey District). This 
is a true augite-camptonite, and very closely resembles the dykes of this rock cutting 
the granite and Tertiary breccia in the basin of the Blackwater River.* Sections show 



*N.Z. G.S Bull. No. 17, 1915, p. 104. 



108 

that tlie rock from both localities consists chiefly of violet pleochroic augite in two 
generations, with a small quantity of decomposed plagioclase for a base. Olivine in 
large crystals also occurs, as well as an insignificant number of small deep-brown 
hornblende laths in the matrix. Iron-ore is very abundant, and occurs as grains in the 
groundmass or as lattice-works of skeleton crystals. Pebbles of a similar rock occur 
sparingly in the gravels of the Inangahua and Larry rivers. The numerous small 
idiomorphic augites in the groundmass of the rock from the latter stream are altered 
to green hornblende, while no phenocrysts are developed. 

The dykes in the Freeth and Blackwater rivers undoubtedly belong to the same 
series of injections. They occur in the same fracture-zone, in the intermediate portion 
of which, along the intermontane valley of the Otututu, pebbles of similar augite- 
camptonite are to be found. Thus the whole series must be considered of post- 
Eocene age, and, as already stated, there is a strong probability of the connection 
of these dykes with the effusive rocks of the West Coast (page 106). Pebbles of 
olivine-basalt are abundant in the bed of the Punakaiki River, and also occur in the 
Porarari and Te Wharau rivers. Sections exhibit large crystals of olivine and augite, 
while smaller ones of augite and labradorite are numerous. The groundmass is micro- 
♦ crystalline, and is composed of a very fine-grained felt of feldspar and pyroxene prisms, 
with much magnetite-dust. Some sections also show a little brownish glass. 

Hornblende Rock. 

Large dykes of a rock composed almost entirely of hornblende occur in Mirfin 
Creek, a branch of the Otututu, while boulders of a similar rock are to be found in 
the gorge of the latter stream and also in the beds of the Inangahua and Waitahu 
rivers. The fissure containing one of the dykes obviously has been active since the 
consolidation of the rock, and along the plane of movement the hornblende rock has 
been altered to a mica-schist. In hand-specimens the normal dyke-rock is seen to 
consist almost entirely of hornblende, with a small quantity of leucocratic mineral 
between the crystals. Sections show the rock to be made up essentially of pale-green 
hornblende, with a little plagioclase. The hornblende is pleochroic in green and 
yeUowish-brown tones, and exhibits sometimes schillerization and always the reedy 
structure characteristic of uralite. In all sections examined a little brown mica was 
present, intergrown with the hornblende, and in the micaceous marginal facies of the 
dyke the mica becomes predominant over the amphibole. Pyrite occurs in small 
grains, but iron-ores are not abundant. Although the rock' contains over 2 per cent, 
of chromium sesquioxide, chromite was not definitely recognized. A pebble of slightly 
altered websterite, consisting essentially of augite and hypersthene with a little plagio- 
clase and mica, was found in the Otututu River. 

Analyses Nos. 13 and 14, page 110, show that the typical dyke-rock and its micaceous 
facies have nearly the same composition ; perhaps a little potash has been introduced 
during the alteration. The rock is evidently an altered pyroxenite, and in composition 
more closely resembles websterite than any other member of that family. 

Diabases. 

Diabasic dykes are common in the Aorere sediments of the Reefton Subdivision. 
No unusual types were found, the great majority of the dykes consisting essentially of 
augite and plagioclase (andesine to labradorite) with accessory iron-ore, and exhibiting 
ophitic structure. W. A. MacLeod* has described the rock from the large intrusive 

* " Notes on a West Coast Dolerite." Trans, vol. xxxi, 1899, p. 487. 



1D9 

mass on the flanks of Mount Kirwan ; a similar rock, somewhat weathered, was 
examined by Morgan and Bartrum* ; while Huttonf has described a chlorite-schist from 
Specimen Hill that is undoubtedly a dyke-rock crushed by earth-movements, and 
altered by lode-forming solutions. Mica is occasionally developed, as in the large dyke 
at the Seventeen-mile Bluff (Temiko Survey District), while, where the rock has been 
subjected to pressure, as in the vicinity of the quartz veins and in the dyke in 
McConnochie Creek (Waitahu Survey District), the augite is altered to hornblende, the 
rock then becoming the epidiorite of some writers. 

Five analyses were made of these rocks, of which two were altered — that from 
Moonlight Creek by atmospheric weathering, and that from the Blackwater Mine by 
hydrothermal solutions. The rock from Mount Kirwan is decidedly more acid than the 
samples from other localities, a result probably due to differentiation in the great mass 
of diabase there intruded. 

Hornhlende-granulite. 

Pebbles of a hard dense rock that on fresh fracture is glistening and dark-green, 
and sometimes shows an indistinct banding, occurs sparingly in the gravels of the 
Inangahua River and Slab Hut Creek. Sections show that the rock is a hornblende- 
granulite, consisting essentially of acid plagioclase, quartz, hornblende, and garnet. The 
structure is granulitic ; and the garnet, which does not appear in all sections, exhibits 
the centric arrangement so typical of this rock. 

G-ranulites are generally considered to have been formed from igneous rocks by 
dynamic metamorphism, and it is noteworthy that pebbles have been found only in 
the beds of streams that have traversed areas of Upper Miocene conglomerate. This 
rock, as already stated, is almost entirely composed of fragments of schist that must 
have been derived from the intensely folded zone of the Alpine chain. 

Analyses of Igneous Rocks of the Reefton Subdivision. 



— 


(1.) 


(2.) 


(3.) 


(4.) 


(5.) 


(6.) 


(7.) 


(8.) 


(9.) 


(10.) 


Silica (SiOg) . . 


72-40 


68-60 


76-25 


75-05 


72-42 


66-55 


52-07 


46-78 


48-62 


57-50 


Titanium dioxide (Ti02) 




0-77 


0-80 


0-12 


0-07 


0-02 


0-69 


1-23 


1-26 


0-81 


0-92 


Alumina (AI2O3) 




12-56 


14-35 


14-06 


14-74 


15-61 


16-77 


17-25 


19-18 


22-32 


18-23 


Ferric oxide (FegOg) . . 




nil 


1-60 


0-48 


016 


nil 


2-24 


6-16 


3-28 


1-08 


nil 


Ferrous oxide (FeO) 




4-03 


3-71 


0-58 


0-36 


0-79 


1-58 


6-40 


9-14 


3-74 


5-81 


Manganous oxide (MnO) 




0-60 


0-05 


0-02 


010 


0-01 


0-06 


0-20 


0-17 


0-15 


0-10 


Lime (CaO) . . 




2-09 


2-11 


1-75 


0-78 


0-27 


2-90 


8-12 


8-20 


2-12 


6-46 


Magnesia (MgO) 




1-87 


0-93 


0-18 


05 


0-11 


2-57 


2-92 


6-03 


2-69 


3-80 


Potash (K2O) . . 




1-95 


3-83 


2-97 


4-02 


8-53 


1-96 


1-09 


1-32 


5-85 


1-73 


Soda (NagO) . . 




2-14 


2-91 


3-12 


4-32 


1-92 


3-58 


3-18 


2-27 


1-82 


3-15 


Phosphoric anhydride (P2O5) 




0-09 


0-29 


nU 


0-04 


nil 


0-06 


0-78 


0-73 


0-25 


0-30 


Sulphur trioxide (SO3) . . 




0-08 


0-14 


0-15 


0-07 


0-13 


0-03 


0-20 


0-17 


0-22 




Carbon dioxide (CO2) . . 




nU 


nil 


nU 


nil 


nil 


nil 


0-02 


ml 


4-63 


6-50 


Water below 100° C. . . 




0-15 


0-11 


0-12 


0-20 


0-04 


0-55 


0-14 


0-38 


1-74 


0-12 


Combined water 




1-25 


1-05 


0-53 


0-41 


0-60 


1-28 


1-12 


2-64 


3-61 


1-48 


Chromium sesquioxide (CrgOa) . 




. , 






, , 














Iron (Fe) 
























Sulphur (S) . . 












. , 






, , 






Iron pyrites (FeS2) 




•• 




•• 


•• 




•• 


•• 


•• 




ii2 


Totals .. 


• 


99-88 


100-38 


100-33 


100-37 


100-45 


99-82 


99-88 


100-55 


99-66 


100-21 



* N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17, 1915, p. 104. 

t "The Eruptive Rocks of New Zealand." Jour. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., vol. xxiii, 1889, p. 130. 



110 



Analyses of Igneous Rocks of the Reefton Subdivision — continued. 



— 


(11.) 


(12.) 


(13.) 


(14.) 


(15.) 


(16.) 


(17.) 


(18.) 


(19.) 


(20.) 


Silica (SiOg) . . 


52-30 


42-05 


52-10 


50-40 


53-60 


45-25 


44-60 


42-32 


39-30 


49-06 


Titanium dioxide (Ti02) 




3-46 


1-92 


0-89 


0-93 


353 


3-00 


3-73 


3-35 


4-34 


1-36 


Alumina (AI2O3) 




16-29 


14-35 


4-41 


6-01 


13-25 


16-23 


17-41 


13-78 


14-04 


15-70 


Ferric oxide (FegOs) 




3-20 


3-64 


3-20 


1-12 


2-32 


2-56 


2-00 


1-85 


2-40 


5-38 


Ferrous oxide (FeO) 




7-09 


8-96 


6-84 


9-00 


7-48 


10-30 


11-22 


12-02 


9-22 


6-37 


Manganous oxide (MnO) 




0-07 


0-30 


0-20 


0-10 


0-15 


0-13 


012 


0-13 


0-12 


0-31 


Lime (CaO) . . 




6-90 


7-45 


8-94 


5-00 


9-30 


8-60 


7-90 


4-52 


8-24 


8-95 


Magnesia (MgO) 




4-17 


13-98 


17-75 


17-74 


515 


6-98 


6-58 


6-73 


5-29 


6-17 


Potash {K2O) . . 




2-44 


1-31 


0-44 


3-44 


1-09 


1-40 


1-07 


1-24 


1-03 


1-52 


Soda (NaaO) . . 




1-38 


3-16 


0-84 


0-26 


1-87 


2-46 


2-68 


1-96 


2-18 


3-11 


Phosphoric anhydride {P2O5) 




0-25 


0-83 


0-09 


0-06 


0-15 


n.d. 


n.d. 


n.d. 


0-20 


0-45 


Sulphur trioxide (SO3) . . 




0-11 


0-10 


? 


0-11 


0-24 








0-20 




Carbon dioxide (CO2) . . 




nU 


0-76 


nil 


nil 


nU 


nil 


nil 


6-'93 


8-54 




Water below 100° C. . . 




0-45 


0-32 


0-08 


0-11 


0-76 


0-35 


0-27 


0-36 


1-02 


, . 


Combined water 




2-23 


0-99 


1-67 


2-95 


1-47 


2-40 


2-40 


4-82 


4-26 


1-62 


Chromium sesquioxide (Cr203) . 








2-00 


2-44 














Iron (Fe) 








0-28 
















Sulphur (S) . . 








0-32 
















Iron pyrites (FeSj) 














6-25 


6-48 


0-35 




•• 


Totals . . 




100-34 


100-12 


100-05 


99-67 


100-36 


99-91 


100-46 


100-36 


100-38 


100-00 



Analyses. — The rocks of which analyses are given in the preceding table are as 
follow : — 

(1.) Fine-grained granite in road-cutting on the Reefton -Maruia Road, a few chains 

without the subdivision, Rahu Survey District. 
(2.) Medium-grained granite on track at Mabel Bay, Brighton Survey District. 
(3.) Vein a few inches thick of coarse pegmatite in No. 2. 
(4.) Small vein of microgranite in porphyritic granite, Mount Albert, Waitahu 

Survey District. 
(5.) Large mass of pegmatite containing garnet and showing graphic structure, 

Otututu River, Maimai Survey District. 
(6.) Dyke of granite-porphyry 6 ft. wide in granite, McMahon Creek, Maimai Survey 

District. 
(7.) Diorite in granodiorite, Welshman Creek, Inangahua Survey District. 
(8.) Diorite occurring in great quantity in talus beside the Reefton-Maruia Road, 

near the boundary of the subdivision, Waitahu Survey District. 
(9.) Dyke 6 ft. wide of feldspar-porphyry. No. 9 level south, Big River Mine, Waitahu 
Survey District. 
(10.) Small dyke of hornblende-minette in (1). 

(11.) Irregular segregation of mica-vogesite. Mount Albert, Waitahu Survey District. 
(12.) Basalt, loose boulder, Punakaiki River, Waiwhero Survey District. 
(13.) Hornblende rock, 10 ft. dyke in gneiss, Mirfin Creek, Mawheraiti Survey District. 
(14.) Mica rock, marginal facies of (13). 

(15.) Large plug of diabase on track to Kirwan Hill, Reefton Survey District. 
(16.) Diabase (epidiorite), McConnochie Creek, Waitahu Survey District. 
(17.) Mica-diabase, Seventeen-mile Bluff, Temiko Survey District. 
(18.) Diabase, altered by hydrothermal action, 30 ft. below No. 3 level, Blackwater 

Mine. 
(19.) Diabase, 1 ffc. thick, near forks of Moonlight Creek, Waiwhero Survey District. 
(20.) Average basalt, calculated from 198 analyses. R. A. Daly, " Geology of the 
North American Cordillera," 1912, page 685. 



Ill 



PERIODS AND DIRECTIONS OF EARTH-MOVEMENTS. 

As has been pointed out on a preceding page,* the chief folding affecting the Aorere 
rocks of the Reef ton Subdi-vision has a north-north-east direction. This agrees with the 
north-north-east strikes observed by Parkf in the Owen-Wangapeka district, and the 
" nearly north and south " folding (shown on the map accompanying as magnetic north 
and south) noted by McKayf in the Mount Arthur district. To the westward of these 
localities the strikes as a whole are west of north. Thus- in the moimtainous coimtry 
between the Aorere and Takaka rivers the trend of the rocks as a whole varies between 
north-north-east and north-west.§ Again at the southern end of the Paparoa Range, || 
in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision,^ and at Ross** the strikes in general are west of 
north. Apparently the Palaeozoic rocks of the West Coast have been subjected to two 
series of folding, the one producing north-north-east strikes over a well-marked belt of 
country from Reefton northward to Separation Point ; the other, less definite, affecting 
the rocks to the westward of this zone, and producing north-westerly strikes. Neither of 
these directions corresponds with the trend of the plications of the Alpine chain, which are 
of Late Mesozoic date and presumably quite distinct from and younger than the foldings 
of the rocks to the west of the great series of overthrusts. 

The Tertiary stresses appear to have found relief by the adjustment of vast earth- 
blocks separated by radial fractures. These movements commenced just prior to the 
deposition of the lowest beds of the Mawheranui Series. They were again active prior 
to the periods represented by the Oamaru and Pareora series respectively, and culminated 
in the great movements that brought the Tertiary to a close. It may be safely stated 
that the highlands of New Zealand are all to be ascribed to these Tertiary stresses, the 
accumulations ejected by volcanoes being but another expression of the earth-forces 
that uplifted the great ranges of the North and South Islands. Prior to the deposition 
of the sediments known as the Mawheranui Series a long period of subaerial denudation 
had reduced the land to a surface of low relief. Until the close of the Tertiary the 
land areas of the West Coast do not appear to have attained great altitudes, and during 
the lengthy periods of stillstand or slow depression intervening between the movements 
of elevation the areas above the sea were probably still more nearly reduced to base- 
level. In the case of the earth-blocks that constitute the Alpine chain it is probable 
that during the main period of denudation (that bridging the gap between the Cretaceous 
and the Eocene) they, in common with the West Coast land-surface, were reduced to a 
peneplain. The crustal stresses that caused the Tertiary deformations, and produced in 
the West Coast proper a series of block-mountains separated by rift-valleys and not 
differing materially in elevation among themselves, also brought about a general uplift 
of the central mountain region of the South Island, as well as a marked differential 
elevation of the blocks of which it is composed. Of these the lowest are decidedly 
above the level of the highest of the West Coast area. This difference in height 
undoubtedly prevailed after the movement that brought the Oamaru period to a close, 
and probably was more or less marked throughout the whole Tertiary epoch. 

A study of the fault-maps issued with No. 17 and this bulletiii shows that a great 
number of the major fractures strike north-east — that is, parallel with the Alps ; and there 



* See p. 70. 

t Park, J. : " On the Geology of the Owen and Wangapeka Goldfiolds." Rep. Geol. Explor. during 
1887-88, No. 19, 1888, p. 76-. 

X McKay, A. : " The Baton River and Wangapeka Districts and Mount Arthur Range." Rep. Geol. 
Explor. during 1878-79, No. 12, 1879, pp. 125, 127. 

§ McKay, A. : Loc. cit., p. 128. N.Z. G.S. BuU. No. 3 (Now Series), 1907, pp. 34, 35. 

II See p. 70; and N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 13 (New Series), 1911, p. 50. 

ii N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17 (New Series), 1915, p. 69. 

** N.Z. G.S. BuU. No. 6 (New Series), 1908, p. 36. 



112- 

is no doubt but tbat the force that crumpled the rocks of that range produced lines of 
weakness in the foreland, against which the folding took place. There are also several 
prominent fracture-zones of which the orientation approaches magnetic north and south, 
corresponding to the direction of a folding in the Palseozoic rocks considered to antedate 
the formation of the Alps. These are parallel with the general trend of the Reefton 
lode-zones, which probably originated just prior to and were active during the cooling of the 
magma injected as a result of the orogenic movements that produced the Alpine chain. 
They are also parallel with the western edge of the Aldrich Deep, a most important 
element in the physiography of the floor of the Pacific Ocean. A few other fractures 
strike a little west of north. This is even more notably the case with respect to the 
Grlasgow-Brunner- Victoria highlands, which, though traversed by numerous north-east- 
striking fractures, have a western margin with a strike slightly west of north. This is 
in agreement with the trend of the Hauraki Peninsula, a horst with a similar structure 
and of undoubted Tertiary age. Other well-known physiographic and structural features 
have a similar orientation, and it is suggested that during Late Tertiary times the 
crustal stresses accumulated in the New Zealand area were relieved along lines running 
a little west of north. Throughout the Dominion these deformative movements have 
been of the plateau-forming type, and have produced elongated, elevated, and depressed 
areas which are possibly the expression, in the zone of fracture, of forces that, in the 
zone of flow, produce great folds. 




Ener^eti 
Reef 



PLAN OF 
N9 7 LEVEL 

WEALTH OF NATIONS MINE 



\ 



100 

Uiiiimii 



— S cale of Chains -^ — 

Soo 



1000 



113 

CHAPTER VI. 



ECONOMIC GEOLOGY. 





Page. 




Page. 


Metalliferous Lodes 


114 


Metalliferous Lodes — continued. 




Introduction 


114 


Blackwater Group — continued. 




Definitions of Mining Terms, &c. 


114 


Workings — con tinued. 




Lode -fissures 


115 


Blackwater Mine 


. 172 


Nature of the Fissure-filling . . 


117 


Blackwater South Claim 


. 173 


Distribution of the Ore and Minerals in 




Prohibition or Blackwater Nort 


li 


Depth . . 


118 


Claim 


. 173 


Alteration of the Wall-rocks 


120 


Other Claims on or near Martin' 


3 


Genesis of the Quartz Lodes . . 


121 


Lode-series 


. 173 


Persistence of Ore in Depth . . 


123 


Millerton Mine . . 


. 173 


Rock-temperatures . . 


129 


Paparoa Group 


. 174 


Caledonian Group 


130 


Future Prospects of Lode-mining 


. 176 


History . . 


130 


Alluvial Deposits 


. 177 


Workings 


131 


Early Tertiary Conglomerates 


. 178 


Italian Gully Group 


132 


Middle Tertiary Conglomerates 


. 178 


History . . 


132 


Late Tertiary Conglomerates . . 


. 180 


Workings 


132 


Pleistocene Deposits 


. 180 


Kirwan Group 


133 


Three-channel Flat Group . . 


. 180 


History . . 


133 


Lnangahua Junction Group. . 


. 181 


Workings 


134 


Landing Creek Group 


181 


Capleston Group 


135 


Cronadun Group . . 


182 


History . . 


135 


. Soldiers Group 


183 


Workings . . . . 


138 


Squaretown Group 


183 


Welcome United and Hopeful Mines 


138 


Ikamatua Group . . 


183 


Fiery Cross Mine 


140 


Upland Group 


184 


Just-in-Time Mine 


141 


Granville Group . . 


184 


Lone Star Mine 


141 


Moonlight Group . . 


185 


Specimen Hill Mine 


142 


Blackball Group . . 


186 


Pactolus Mine . . 


142 


Recent Auriferous Deposits not clearlj 




Painkiller Group 


143 


derived from older Alluvium 


186 


History . . 


143 


Fluviatile Gravels . . 


186 


Workings 


143 


Marine Gravels 


187 


Russell-Dillon Mine 


143 


The Source of the Alluvial Gold 


189 


Ulster Mine 


144 


Gold-dredging 


191 


Ajax Group 


144 


Historical Acount 


191 


History . . 


144 


Middle Buller Valley Group 


191 


Workings 


145 


Boatman Creek Group 


193 


Inglewood-Phoenix- Victoria Mine . . 


145 


Mawheraiti Group 


193 


Golden Treasure - Band of Hope 




Grey Valley Group 


194 


Mine 


147 


Conclusion 


195 


Perseverance Mine 


148 


Coal-deposits 


197 


Golden Fleece - Ajax - Royal Mine. . 


148 


Origin of Coal-seams 


197 


Venus Mine 


150 


Distribution of the Coal-deposits 


200 


Anderson's-Invincible Mine 


151 


Composition of the Coal 


201 


Crushington Group . . 


152 


Nature of the Original Substance 


201 


History . . 


152 


Age of the Coal-seams in Relation tc 


) 


Workings 


152 


their Composition 


202 


Energetic - Wealth of Nations Mine 


152 


Heat of Distillation 


202 


Keep-it-Dark Mine 


153 


Physical Pressure 


202 


Hercules - No. 2 South Keep-it-Dark 




Facilities for the Escape of the Gaseous 


J 


Mine 


155 


Products 


203 


Globe-Progress Group 


156 


Detailed Description of the Coal-seams. 


203 


History . . 


156 


Greymouth Group 


204 


Workings 


158 


Porarari Group 


204 


Maori Gully Group . . 


160 


Fox River Group 


204 


Merrijigs Group 


161 


BuUer Gorge Group 


205 


History . . 


161 


Three-channel Flat Group . . 


207 


Workings 


163 


Fletcher Creek Group 


208 


Rainy Creek and Supreme Mines . . 


163 


Reef ton Group 


209 


Inkerman Mine 


163 


Plateau Group 


213 


Inkerman West Mine 


164 


Waiwhero Group . . 


215 


Inkerman South Claim . . 


164 


Garden Gully Group 


215 


Scotia Mine 


166 


Brighton Group . . 


216 


Hard-to-Find Mine 


166 


Giles Creek Group 


217 


Gallant Mine 


166 


Camp Creek Group 


217 


Sir Francis Drake and Happy Valley 




Ultimate Analyses . . 


218 


Minos . . 


166 


Output of Coal 


218 


Cumberland-Exchange Mine 


167 


Other Deposits of Economic Value 


219 


Golden Lead Group 


168 


Clays and Claystones 


219 


History . . 


168 


Alum Shale 


221 


Workings 


169 


Limestone . . 


221 


Big River Group 


169 


Building-stones 


222 


History . . 


169 


Roadmaking-inaterial 


223 


Workings 


171 


OU-shale and Petroleum 


223 


Big River Mine 


171 


Platinum . . 


223 


Other Claims . . 


171 


Arsenic and Antimony 


223 


Blackwater Group 


171 


Other Metallic Sulphides 


224 


History . . 


171 


Cassiterite, &c. 


224 


Workings 


172 


Iron-ores . . 


225 



8 — Reef ton. 



114 

METALLIFEROUS LODES. 
Introduction. 
From an economic standpoint the Reefton Subdivision is chiefly interesting owing to its 
deposits of gold and coal. The former consist of quartz veins, and of gravel and 
conglomerates containing detrital gold. The quartz veins, in addition to gold, carry 
the commercially valuable sulphides, stibnite and arsenopyrite ; while chalcopyrite 
(copper-pyrites) occurs sparingly in several mines, and bismuthinite has been reported 
from one. Other lodes which have so far received little or no attention carry molyb- 
denum and copper as their most valuable constituents, with a little silver and less gold. 
A veinlet of galena not especially argentiferous was discovered many years ago, but 
is of no commercial value, and lead in small amount is known to be associated with 
antimonial ores. By far the greater number of the lodes of the subdivision belong 
to the gold-bearing series, and most of these contain so little of the precious metal 
that for commercial purposes they may be considered barren. 

The auriferous lodes occur in two main areas, of which the more important — the 
Reefton area — is a strip of Palaeozoic sediments lying along the eastern edge of the 
G-rey-Inangahua rift-valley, and stretching from the Big Grey to north of Larry Creek, 
a distance of twenty-four miles. The width of the belt over which the lodes occur 
is rarely more than two miles, and is generally much less. The other main block 
of lode-bearing country is on the western side of the Grey valley, and forms the core 
of the southern end of the Paparoa Range. It may be conveniently termed the 
Paparoa area, and in it occur, besides the auriferous lodes, veins containing copper 
and molybdenum. 

By far the greater number of the quartz lodes, and the whole of those of economic 
importance, are contained in the Palaeozoic greywackes and argillites. Veins of quartz 
are common in the plutonic rocks, and more particularly in the gneisses, a condition 
which obtains throughout the West Coast ; while sometimes also fractured zones of 
granite are rich in impregnated sulphides. The writer, although he noted several 
of these occurrences — for example, in Fletcher,* Dilemma,| and Bateman* creeks, 
also in a small branch of Tobin StreamJ — did not examine any of them carefully. 
Quite recently, in the granite on the western flank of the mountains north of the 
Karamea River, a similar zone, which carries gold in addition to iron and arsenical 
pyrites, has been discovered by Mr. W. G. Jacobsen. The alluvial deposits of Fenian 
Creek, a branch of the Oparara, that have been worked for many years, probably 
derived their gold from this mineralized zone, which lies close to the edge of the 
granite boss. As the occurrences in the Reefton Subdivision differ from this in that 
they neither are connected with known alluvial deposits nor contain arsenopyrite, it 
is probable that the dissimilarity extends also to their gold-content. 

Definitions of Mining Terms, Etc. 
The miners of the Reefton district use certain terms in a sense differing from 
that in which they are generally employed, although the usage followed nearly always 
conforms with that obtaining in Australia. One very common term is " mullock," 
which designates rock as distinct from quartz, whether the latter be payable or not. 
Rarely the meaning is restricted to the crushed country near a lode, which, however, is 
usually known as " good-looking " or " kindly " country. Another Australian term 
in very common use is " reef," used to designate a tabular body of quartz contained 
in a fissure. When the quartz feathers out the space between the fissure-walls is 

* See map of Reefton Survey District". f See map of Brighton Survey District. J See map of 

Waitahu Survey District. 



115 

generally occupied by crushed rock, known as " reef formation " or " reef-track." This 
" track " often leads to another quartz body, the whole constituting what is usually 
defined as a " lode." Frequently a small quartz vein persists in the gouge of the 
" reef formation," forming a " leader " or " stringer," the latter term being prefen-ed 
for the larger and more persistent occurrences. Often many leaders traverse the 
crushed rock within the fissure, and sometimes these are rich enough in gold to permit 
of the whole being extracted as ore. Such a composite lode receives the name of 
" mullock reef." The strike of an ore-body is termed its " course," and the former 
term is used wrongly in lieu of " pitch " or " rake " to designate the endlong dip in 
strike of the deposit. The well-known and necessary term " shoot " or " ore-shoot " 
is never employed, its place being filled by " block." Since the ore-shoots of this 
region frequently consist of a succession of quartz lenses, or have been broken up by 
faults, this term may conveniently be retained to designate an individual lens or a 
fault-displaced fragment of an ore-shoot, meanings already possessed by the word. 
As in other mining districts, several ore-shoots may be developed along one fissure, 
and the occu-rence is then designated a " reef-line," or briefly a " line,"* the term 
being then equivalent to lode. A wider meaning, however, is often intended. Thus 
later movements may have cut and distorted the ore-bearing fissure, or the original 
disrupting stress may have found relief in a number of parallel fissures, disconnected 
and not in exact alignment. Such a lode-series is also called a " line." When a 
number of lode-series or " lines " are distributed over a considerable area with sub- 
parallel strike a lode-system results. In the Reefton region a number of these 
systems exist, which, though differing in orientation, closely follow one another in 
longitudinal extension, and are evidently all of common origin. The whole forms a 
run of lodes or a mineralized belt. 

Lode-fissures. 

As already stated, all the valuable ore-deposits of the subdivision are related to 
fissures occurring in the Palaeozoic rocks. The very fact of their containing ore is 
strong presumptive evidence that the fracturing is in the nature of normal faulting, 
and not of overthrusting, a phenomenon that seems to be followed by ore-formation only 
with extreme rarity, t This assumption is strongly supported by the steepness of the 
dips of the fractures. It may be mentioned that no proof of this statement can be 
adduced, for not only are the enclosing rocks of great xmiformity, but the lodes nearly 
always appear to follow the bedding. This latter structure, however, is more apparent 
than real, being caused by the sheeting of the country, owing to the intensity of the 
deformative movements, and in some cases at least it can be shown that the lodes 
cross the bedding of the country at small angles. 

The lode-fissures of the subdivision fall naturally in two groups, according to their 
areal distribution. The general features of the distribution of the fissures of each 
area have been described in an earlier chapter, and it is proposed in this place only 
to put the facts there stated into tabular form in so far as they apply to the 
Reefton area. The lodes here occur in three runs, of which the two Western are so 
closely related genetically that they may conveniently be considered together. It is in 
connection with these latter that, with few exceptions, the mines of the subdivision are 
placed. The data in respect to the lodes of the Paparoa area are too inexact to permit 
of such a tabulation, and for the information available the reader is referred to 
page 58 et seq. 

* In the " si.xties " the alluvial digger was required by law to mark out by means of flags tlio lead of 
gold worked, or tho supposed position of the lead. This custom was followed when the auriferous quartz 
veins were discovered, and the courses of the lodes were marked out by a line of flags. The writer under- 
stands that similar usages prevailed in Victoria, where the term " line" has a Uke meaning. 

t Beyschlag, Vogt, and Krusch : " Ore Deposits." Translated by S. J. Truscott. Vol. i, 1914, p. 62. 
8'— Reefton. 



116 



Classification of the Attrdpeeotts Lodes of the Rbbfton Abba. 



System. 


Group. 


Lode-series. 


Lode. 


Larry 


Caledonian 


Potter's 


Caledonian. 

No. 2 South Larry's. 




Italian Gully . . 


Walker's 


Golden Arch. 
Garibaldi. 


Waitahu 


Capleston 


Topfer's 


Welcome-Hopeful. 
Fiery Cross. 
Just-in-Time. 
Lone Star. 






Gafiney's . . 


Specimen Hill. 

Pactolus. 

Lady of the Lake. 




Painkiller 


Western 


Gladstone. 

Sir Charles Russell. 

Ulster. 






Eastern 


Colorado. 




Ajax 


KeUy's 


Liglewood- Victoria. 
Comstock - Golden Treasure. 
Band of Hope. 
Perseverance. 






Walshe's 


Golden Fleece. 
Ajax. 
Royal. 
Venus. 






Anderson's 


Anderson's. 
Inviacible. 


Inangahua . . 


Crushington . . 


Smith's 


Energetic. 
Wealth of Nations. 
Keep-it-Dark (east). 
Hercules. 
Pandora. 






Western 


Eclipse. 
Heather Bell. 
Keep-it-Dark (west) 




Auld Creek . . 


Ranft's 


Fraternal. 
Bonanza. 




Globe-Progress 




Globe-Progress. 


- 


Merrijigs 


Adams' 


Union. 

General Gordon. 
Empress. 
Souvenir. 
Big Blow. 
Supreme. 
Lady Louisa. 
Tnkerman. 






Lees' 


Tnkerman West. 

Scotia. 

Gallant. 

Sir Francis Drake. 

Happy VaUey. 

Exchange. 

Cumberland. 






Western 


Hard-to-Find. 


Snowy 


Golden Lead . . 


McGee's 


Golden Lead. 

Al. 

Merrijigs. 




Big River 


Doogan's . . 


National. 

Big River North. 

Big River. 






Sunderland's 


Golden HiU. 
St. George. 
Matthias. 




Blackwater 


Hurley's 


Hurley's Leader. 
Empire. (?) 
Imperial. (?) 






Martin's 


Blackwater. 
Blackwater South. 
Snowy River. 




MiUerton 


Bank's 


Lee's. 

Saraty's. 

Millerton. 




Maori Gully . . 




Golden Point. 


• 






Morning Star. 



117 

Nature op the Fissuee-filling. 

The gangue of the lodes of the Eeefton Subdivision consists almost entirely of 
quartz with sulphides, and very rarely calcite in subordinate amount. There are two 
varieties of quartz, one being white, massive, and coarsely crystalline, and the other 
darker, generally of a bluish tint, and of an oily lustre. Among the metallic minerals 
which are as a whole characteristic of the latter variety of gangue, pyrite and arseno- 
pyrite are the commonest, while stibnite also frequently occurs. Chalcopyrite has been 
reported from a few mines (Supreme, Big Kiver, and Blackwater), and invariably also 
accompanies molybdenite, a muieral occasionally seen. With the former mineral, more- 
over, silver, probably in combination, is always associated, while the gold in such lodes 
is present only in the scantiest amount. Galena as a constituent of quartz lodes has 
been reported from Moonlight and Blackball creeks, and a small vein of this mineral 
was struck in the Caledonian Mine, while the concentrates from the Inglewood Mine 
contain up to 1 per cent, of lead. 

The distribution of the common sulphides in the quartz gangue is very variable. 
Their occurrence is never massive, although occasionally stibnite is disseminated through 
the quartz so abundantly as to give the appearance of this structure. The quantity of 
stibnite present, however, is rarely more than 20 per cent, of the whole mass, and only 
by careful hand-picking is it possible to get a product containing even 40 per cent, of 
metallic antimony. In such occurrences the other common sulphides are absent, and the 
gold-content low. When the quartz contains a moderate amount of the sulphides 
(2 to 4 per cent.) their distribution is very irregular, and they do not occupy any definite 
position, but are found most commonly on the margin of the lodes or next to thin 
layers of embedded country. 

The gold occurs not only free and amenable to amalgamation, but also intimately 
associated with the sulphides, and requiring some other method of treatment for its 
recovery. In the white coarsely crystalline quartz it is found in visible specks, while 
in the bluish oily quartz it is usually disseminated more finely, the richest portions of 
the ore being generally next the walls or next the thin layers of country contained in 
the quartz. The gold itself is very pure, generally varying in fineness from 96 to 97 
per cent. The gold from the Caledonian Claim, however, contained only 92 per cent, 
of the pure metal, and that from the Alpine Claim, Lyell, only about 90 per cent., 
the impurity in both cases being chiefly silver. It should be noted that the lodes of 
these localities occur in rock more or less altered by thermal metamorphism, and 
that the gold is developed in relatively very coarse specks, often as large as a pea. 

By far the greater number of the quartz lodes contain practically no sulphides, and 
consist of white, vitreous, coarsely crystalline quartz that under the microscope exhibits 
a coarse even-grained mosaic of quartz-grains, unshaded, in polarized light, by any strain 
phenomena. This type of quartz rarely carries gold in readily detectable quantities, 
and very rarely in workable amount. On the other hand, the opaque bluish quartz 
with oily lustre always carries sulphides and gold. Under the microscope the quartz- 
grains of payable ore are seen to be very irregular in size, some portions of a single 
slice exhibiting a coarse mosaic and others a fine, the line of separation being usually a 
gliding zone consisting chiefly of finely groimd quartz, but also containing crushed 
country, various sulphides, and gold. Often these latter are entirely absent, the dark colour, 
opacity, and lustre of the quartz being then possibly due " to the total internal 
reflection from strain surfaces."* Again, although the number of slides examined was 
insufficient to permit of a safe generalization, the gas-pores seen in the " kindly " 



* Maclaren, J. Malcolm : " Gold," 1908, p. 49. The present writer takes a " strain surface " to mean 
a gliding plane. 



118 

quartz were decidedly more numerous than in the " hungry " variety. It should be 
noted also that the individual grains exhibit undulose extinction to a marked extent. 
Evidently during the formation of the mineralized quartz the fissure in which deposition 
took place was in a constant state of activity. This is further borne out by the 
numerous layers, usually nothing more than the veriest films, of material from the 
country which occur in the quartz parallel with the lode-walls. These are evidently due 
to frequent slight movements causing almost imperceptible reopenings of the fissure ; and 
to this cause must also be ascribed the lamination of the ore. Occasionally recemented 
brecciated quaitz occurs, of which the best example noted by the writer was exhibited 
by parts of the Pioneer block of the Progress Mine.* Here angular fragments of light- 
coloured quartz are contained in a minimal amount of dark cement, which is obviously 
comminuted country, silicified, and in pai-t replaced by quartz. In many of the lodes 
fragments of the wall-rock are entirely surrounded by quartz, and there is not the 
slightest doubt but that the quartz itself is in pai-t a replacement of the original pug 
filling of the fissures. At the Caledonian Mine, indeed, the quartz grades into the 
slightly altered rock of the country ; but in all other cases, although it may be " frozen " 
to the wall-rock, it is sharply distinguishable from enclosing strata. This distinct 
demarcation makes it probable that replacement of the country by quartz was not an 
important method of lode-formation in the Keefton Subdivision. The supposition that 
slight movements often took place along the fissures adequately accounts for the 
splitting-up of an ore-lens at its edges and the interlocking of quai-tz and country there 
exhibited. It explains the fact that the lodes consist of lenticular masses of quariz, 
which in any direction may be separated one from another by " track," or may overlap 
with a thin parting of crushed country between the ends of adjacent lenses. Those 
in the same shoot may vary greatly in size and tenor, and consist of quartz of different 
appearance and mineral- content. It also accounts for the so-called " mullock " lodes, 
which consist of subparallel veinlets of quaii;z separated by thin layers of sheared 
country ; in these cases the reopening of the fissure took place not exactly along the 
old fracture, but some distance in the hanging- or foot-wall. As would be expected, 
there are numerous examples of lodes, of types intermediate between the " mullock " 
lode and the ordinary quartz lode. It should also be stated that there is every 
gradation between the lode consisting of white, coarsely crystalline, and rarely laminated 
quartz and that consisting of the semi-opaque laminated quartz characteristic of the 
richly auriferous ores of the district. The ores carrying molybdenite and chalcopyrite 
as their principal mineral constituents approach in appearance rather those of the 
former than those of the latter variety, as also does the quar-tz of the Caledonian shoot. 

Distribution op the Ore and Minerals in Depth. 

In the preceding section an attempt was made to state the pertinent facts known 
concerning the material filling the fissures in general. Since no other but the auriferous 
lodes have been explored in depth, it is possible in this section to treat only of them. 

In such ore-shoots as have been sufficiently exploited and are not too much faulted 
to yield reliable information on the point, the pitch of the lode is in every case north- 
ward, at angles which vary between 27° and 35° in the Boatman and Caledonian groups, 
between 50° and 60° in the Crushington and Ajax groups, and is about 38° in the case 
of the great Blackwater shoot. This constancy of the direction and relative uniformity 
in the amount of the pitch of the lodes undoubtedly point to an origin common to all 
cases, and the writer considers it to be due to pre-mineral structural features of the 



* Brecciated quartz is also reported from the Big River and Keep-it-Dark mines. 



119 

country. Thus the Blackwater lode faults, and is itself more or less dislocated by, a 
small diabase dyke that cuts the lode on a line nearly parallel with the pitch as 
determined by the southern edge of the shoot and by the position of its thickest 
portion.* In the Wealth of Nations Mine two lode-channels occur, separated by about 
200 ft. of country, and what is known as the south block lies on the western of these, 
while the north block is on the eastern. A diagonal fissure connecting the two channels 
terminates the northern end of the south block and the southern end of the north 
block. In the Hopeful- Welcome shoot the northern edge in all levels from No. 2 to 
No. 5 ended in broken faulted country, into which the " track " penetrated with a 
westerly trend. In 1898 the north block was found lying 200 ft. to the westward of 
the line of the main shoot, and the " track " connecting the ore-bodies must be considered 
a pre-mineral fracture. It must also be noted that the ore-shoots invariably terminate 
in country decidedly more broken and shattered than that forming their normal walls, 
and in this disturbed country the lode " track " usually changes its direction. The 
writer considers that the facts are most readily explained by supposing that the fractures 
now containing the lodes were formed across a series of older fractures, being frequently 
more or less deflected in the process. f The line of intersection is naturally marked by 
shattering, and in the mineralized fissure determines the position of the edge of the 
shoot. In theory the pitch of this intersection in respect to the later fracture will 
depend upon the strikes and dips of both the older and the mineralized fissures, and 
will be similar for each particular group of lodes, conditions that actually obtain in the 
field. 

The secondary enrichment of gold-ores through the agency of surface waters does 
not play an important part in the Reefton district. The oxidized zone rarely extends 
m( re than 50 ft. beneath the outcrop, except that in the neighbourhood of powerful 
faults this depth may be several times exceeded. On the other hand, there are 
numerous instances where unoxidized ore is found within a few feet of the surface. 
This low range in the variation in the level of the ground-water is probably to be 
explained by the heavy and regularly distributed rainfall and by the impermeable 
nature of the Palaeozoic sediments. The gold enrichment in the oxidized zone is 
not decided, and the upper margin of the sulphide ore is not distinguished by an 
increase in its content either of gold or of accessory minerals as compared with 
undoubted primary ore beneath. The concentration of gold in the oxidized zone is due 
rather to the mechanical action of the water in carrying down gold-pai-ticles freed 
by surface-erosion than to the dissolving -power of the solutions. In the Paparoa 
group of lodes the ore of the Minerva and Croesus shoots apparently rapidly decreased 
in value in depth ; but the fact that the workings are inaccessible, the fewness of the 
data available, and the small amount of exploration undertaken, do not permit of 
any opinion being formed as to whether these occurrences are examples of secondary 
enrichment or not. 

The only undoubted instance of the alteration of the primary ore in the shoots 
so far mined is furnished by the distribution of stibnite. In the case of this mineral there 
is a decided diminution in depth in the Welcome, Golden Fleece, and Globe mines. 
In some shoots stibnite — which, where it occurs in moderate amount, is considered 
a good indication for gold — is entirely absent, as at the Caledonian, No. 2 South 
LaiTy's, Kirwan's Reward, Minerva, and Croesus. In others again the mineral occurs 
very sparingly, as at the Golden Arch, Wealth of Nations, and Blackwater. In 
the ore-shoots that have been most extensively mined—namely, the Welcome, Golden 

* See section of Blackwater Mine, Map No. 13. 

t Evidence of a somewhat similar occurrence appears in the Waihi Grand Junction Mine. N.Z. G.S. 
10th Ann. Rep., 1916, p. 10. 



120 

Fleece, Wealth of Nations, Keep-it-Dark, Globe, and Big River — it is found tliat 
in a general way, and allowing for the influence of faults, no alteration either in 
the size of the ore-bodies or in the mineral-content, as far as gold, arsenopyrite, 
and pyrite are concerned, can be detected between the upper and lower levels. This, 
however, is a question that will be further discussed on a later page. 

Alteeation op the Wall-rocks. 

The wall-rock of the auriferous lodes consists of a relatively soft structureless 
rock, generally not more than a few feet thick, decidedly lighter in colour than 
slate or argillite, and containing crystals of pyrite and arsenopyrite, the latter of 
which, although contained in no greater quantity, are much the larger and more 
prominent. Under the microscope this rock is seen to consist largely of quartz, 
sericite, and a little carbonate, presumably calcite. Unaltered greywacke consists 
chiefly of quartz, feldspar, and chlorite. Of these minerals the feldspar and chlorite, 
and probably also the quartz in part, are replaced by sericite, an alteration 
requiring the addition of potash. Sometimes the lodes are contained in or cross 
diabase dykes, the minerals of which are also greatly altered. Referring to this 
alteration, Finlayson writes : "In the first stage the feldspars become more and 
more replaced by carbonates [and micaceous material] till the twinning is indis- 
tinguishable, and they practically consist of sericite-calcite pseudomorphs. Olivine 
is replaced by chlorite and serpentine, augite by magnetite (or ilmenite) and a leek- 
green serpentine. The ophitic structure can, however, still be traced. With further 
alteration all structure is lost, even the outlines of crystals being obliterated. The 
rock becomes an aggregate of carbonates and sericite with a good deal of opaque 
iron oxide and a little quartz, probably introduced. Strings and patches of pale- 
green chlorite are present at first, but these are eventually altered to sericitic matter. 
Pyrite crystals are also frequently present."* Small masses of siderite occur in 
connection with the diabase dyke in the Blackwater Mine, and this mineral is un- 
doubtedly present in considerable amount in diabase altered by lode-forming solutions. 

Chemically the sedimentary rocks are not greatly altered from the original grey- 
wacke and argillite, the main change being an increase in the potash-content, as 
the following analysesf show : — 



Unaltered 

Greywacke. 

Boatman Creek. 


Altered 
Greywacke 
Blackwater Mine. 


Unaltered 
Argillite. 
Boatman Creek. 


Altered 

Argillite. 

Garden Gully. 


74-91 


67-90 


53-59 


51-43 


10-16 


14-62 


21-95 


20-37 


2-24 


4-07 


5-64 


6-40 



SiOj, 

K,0.. 

These facts clearly show that the auriferous ores of the Reefton Subdivision 
have been deposited by solutions that have produced metasomatism, of the type 
called by LindgrenJ the sericitic calcitic type. 

Don§ has assayed samples of wall-rock at various distances from the lodes from 
the Wealth of Nations and Progress mines, and has found that these are notably 
auriferous only when they contain sulphides. 



* Finlayson, A. M. : " The Geology of the Reefton Gold-veins." Trans., vol. xli, 1909, p. 88. 

f For the complete analyses of these rocks see p. 71. 

X Lindgren, W. : " Metasomatic Processes in Fissure Veins." Trans. Amer. Inst. Min. Eng., vol. xxx, 
1901, pp. 664 ei seq. 

§ Don, J. R. : " The Genesis of certain Auriferous Lodes." Trans. Amer. Inst. Min. Eng., vol. xxvii, 
1898, p. 645. 



121 

Genesis op the Quartz Lodes. 

There are two theories accounting for the formation of quartz lodes, one of 
which considers them as deposited from meteoric waters, while the other derives 
them from magmatic sources. The writer believes that by far the greater number 
of the quartz lodes of the Reefton Subdivision must be ascribed to the latter mode 
of origin, and would place in the former only the siliceous veinlets that are frequently 
developed in the cracks and joint-planes of greywacke and some of the inconsiderable 
stringers found in fault-planes, within a few hundred feet of the surface. 

Several of the auriferous lodes have been traced to a depth of 1,500 ft. from 
the surface, and one to more than 2,000 ft., without displaying any notable variation 
in size and mineral-content. All these lodes are many hundreds of feet below the 
present ground-water level, and two of them are well below sea-level. The workings 
become dry and dusty at moderate depth, and it seems inconceivable that the 
extremely limited imderground circulation, which from the very nature of the country 
could never have been much greater than at present, has been able to produce the 
lodes. 

This problem, however, is best approached from the point of origin of the quai-tz. 
Within the basin of Larry River the intricate surface of contact between the Aorere 
rocks and the granite intruding them is exposed by the stream-channels in several 
places. At two points large quartz-masses containing occasional plates of muscovite, 
and apparently grading into the igneous rock, separate it from the sedimentary 
strata. A large lode, at least 12 ft. in thickness, composed of similar quartz, and 
containing grains of pyrite and chalcopyrite in addition to muscovite, occurs within 
a chain of one of these tongues of quartz-enveloped granite (i.e., that outcropping 
farthest down Bateman Creek, the south branch of the Larry River). A sample 
from this lode was found to contain 2 gr. of gold and 5 dwt. of silver per ton, 
and 0-05 per cent, of copper. A few chains above the lower forks of Larry River 
a great face of somewhat shattered and altered greywacke showing at one point 
a small granite tongue, presumably connected with the main mass across the river, 
occurs ; and among the debris from this face a small angular fragment of richly 
auriferous quartz, with country attached, was found. Several quartz stringers were 
observed to traverse this face, and, although none showed gold, there is not the 
slightest doubt but that the specimen found was derived from one of these or from 
some similar vein. 

In the basin of New Creek near Lyell (see Bulletin No. 17, page 198, and map) 
a non-auriferous 20 ft. quartz lode containing muscovite and pyrite, and developed 
along one side of a granite dyke, has been explored by driving. Near at hand, 
in Tichborne Creek, a small tributary of New Creek, a lode 10 ft. thick, undoubtedly 
a continuation of that above mentioned, and also containing muscovite and pyrite, 
the former mineral being very plentiful, especially within a few inches of its edge, 
occurs. A few chains farther up the stream a lode, 2 ft. wide, was worked by the 
Sir Charles Napier Company for an unsatisfactory yield of gold. The sedimentary 
rock next all these lodes consists of bands of schistose quartz-mica hornfels, some 
of the layers of which contain knots of cordierite. 

Again, on the coast-line about 25 chains south of the Seventeen-mile BlufT two 
dykes of fine-grained aplite, containing pyrite, cut the greywacke on the beach. 
The strike of these dykes would carry them directly to a quartz lode, containing 
muscovite, pyrite, and molybdenite, that outcrops in the bed of the rill entering 
the sea near this point. This lode can be traced about 5 chains, is not more than 
15 chains from the dykes, and has a similar strike. The intervening space is covered 



122 

by a shingle-fan ; but it is a fair inference that the lode is, if not a direct con- 
tinuation of the dykes, closely connected with them. 

Thus there is evidence, strong but not absolute, that quartz lodes containing 
chalcopyrite or molybdenite, and can-ying gold in small quantity, are closely associated 
with the igneous intrusions. It should be noted also that the few lodes within the 
subdivision carrying these minerals occur in greywacke, either very close to granite or 
altered by thermal metamorphism. Thus the double vein outcropping in McConnochie 
Creek, a branch of the Inangahua draining from Mount Albert, and containing 17 dwt. 
of silver per ton, 1-65 per cent, of copper, and under 0-05 per cent, of molybdenum, is 
less than 10 chains from a granite -outcrop ; while the country of the Paparoa area, 
where all the other quartz lodes carrying molybdenum and copper are situated, has also 
been afiected by thermal metamoi-phism. These latter lodes caiTy gold and silver ; one 
from the upper valley of Moonlight Creek, in which a flake of molybdenite was seen, 
contained 15 gi-. of gold and 8 dwt. 19 gr. of silver per ton, and 3-20 per cent, of copper. 
Closely associated with it are other lodes carrying gold, arsenopyrite, pyrite, and occasion- 
ally stibnite ; while some claims in the area, such as the Taffy, Croesus, and Minerva, 
contain lodes commercially valuable for their gold-content, and of these the second and 
third also carry copper in small amount. 

Another link in the chain connecting the normal gold-bearing lodes with the 
pegmatitic granite dykes is furnished by the veins of the Caledonian group. The 
auriferous ore of this locality penetrates into and is more or less intimately mixed with 
the country, much of which was mined and treated at the battery. A similar penetra- 
tion of hornfels by pegmatitic dykes was frequently noted. 

The writer believes that the natural processes that culminated in the formation of 
the quartz lodes began during the differentiation of the igne us magmas, from which at 
least some of the granite batholiths of the subdivision have been derived. As the 
magma cooled, one may suppose that the portion still hquid^ rich in silica, soluble 
carbonates, and carbon dioxide, was injected into fissures formed by the shrinkage of the 
whole. Gradually the " mother liquor " became richer in water, more fluid, and able 
to penetrate farther and farther into the constantly extending fractures of the crust, 
which consisted in part of sedimentary rocks and in part of a consoUdated shell of 
igneous rock. The solutions as they rose to the surface along the fissures were subjected 
to decreasing pressure and temperature, and conditions favourable to the deposition of 
their mineral-content arose. The varying properties of the minerals determined their 
formation at different depths, and thus zones characterized by a particular mineral or 
association of minerals tended to be developed. The continual shrinkage of the magma 
produced crustal stresses, and caused the old fissures to reopen or new ones to form ; and 
as in time the composition of the solutions and perhaps the rock-temperature altered, 
different bands of the same lode, or different lodes in the same locality, do not have the 
same composition. The active agents in maintaining the sulphides in solution were the 
alkaline carbonates and heat, and these might decrease in amount either through 
exhaustion of supply from the central source or from dissipation into the wall-rocks. 
By either means the rising water finally contained mainly silica, deposited only quartz, 
and did not alter the wall-rocks. Thus barren veins are considered to be due to 
depletion of certain constituents, either of the intrusive mass or of solutions from it. 
Of the latter type of vein all trace has been long since removed by denudation, and the 
barren lodes remaining may logically be considered the product of a magma depleted 
of its alkaline carbonates and sulphides. The relative abundance of barren quartz veins 
seems to indicate that the period during which commercially valuable lodes were deposited 
represents but a brief interval in the history of hydrothermal after-action. 



123 

Lindgren* has tentatively formulated lists of minerals characteristic of different 
zones of deposition, and has also prepared a list of those persistent through many 
zones. Now, the deposition of any mineral depends upon the chemical composition of 
the solution as well as upon physical conditions, and as both are subject to variation 
the difficulties attending the devising of such a scheme are very great. This is apparent 
enough even when one metalliferous province is considered, and increases enormously 
when many are included. Denudation has exposed the lodes of the West Coast province 
to various depths, and the following table has been prepared to show what is known 
of the various ore-deposition zones of this region : — 





Zone characterized by 




— 










Examples. 




Sulphides. 


Gangue Mineral. 


Wall-rock 
Alteration. 


Ratio of Gold 
to Silver. 




1 


Chalcopyrite, pyrite, 


Quartz, mus- 


Very slight 


1 to 100-300 


Mount Radiant lodes. (Bull. 




molybdenite 


covite, feld- 
spar 






No. 11, 1910, p. 24:etseq. 


2 


Pyrite, chalcopyrite, 


Quartz, mus- 


Very slight 


1 to 10-50.. 


Moonlight (p. 122) ; Bateman 




molybdenite 


covite 






Creek (p. 121) ; lodes of so- 
called " Kanieri Series " 
(Bull. No. 1, 1906, p. 58). 


3 


Pyrite, chalcopyrite, 


Quartz 


Replacement and 


3 to 2 


Poerua (N.Z. G.S. 7th Ann. 




pyrrhotite 




silicification 




Rep., 1913, p. 128). 


4 


Pyrite, arsenopyrite. 


Quartz 


Replacement, sili- 


5-10 to 1 . . 


Lyell. Wilberforce(Bull.No. 1, 




chalcopyrite (rare) 




cification, and 
slight sericiti- 
zation 




1906, p. 51); Caledonian 
(p. 117). 


5 


Pyrite, arsenopyrite. 


Quartz, side- 


Sericitization . . 


25 to 1 . . 


Deei3er part of Reefton lodes, 




stibnite (not com- 


rite (very 






also outcrops of Black- 




mon), chalcopyrite 


rare) 






water and Golden Arch. 




(very rare) 










6 


Pyrite, arsenopyrite, 
.stibnite, chalcopy- 
rite (very rare) 


Quartz 


Sericitization . . 


25 to 1 


Upper part of Reefton lodes, 
unless excepted as above ; 
Langdon's (Bull. No. 13, 
1911, p. 84). 


7 


Pyrite (rare) 


Quartz 


Slight sericitiza- 
tion 


Barren 





The lodes of Mount Rangitoto,f near Eoss, contain galena in addition to chalcopyrite 
and pyrite, and probably fall between the second and third divisions of the above table. 



Persistence op Ore in Depth. 

If the theory of ore-formation outlined in the foregoing section be in the main 
correct it must follow that the quartz veins of the Reefton Subdivision will be found 
only in the shallow outer zone of the earth's crust. There is, however, nothing in this 
general statement to imply that the lodes will not extend to a much greater depth than 
it is possible to follow them by any method of mining now employed. RickardJ 
recently has sought to show that all lodes, including those of the persistent type 
occurring in the Reefton area, decrease in size and value as they are followed downward, 
and finally become unprofitable. Typical examples arc discussed, and Rickard, in the 
writer's opinion, establishes his main thesis. 

In the Reefton Subdivision experience has shown that the amount of ore commanded 
by successive levels may vary within wide limits. Some mines, after working an ore- 
shoot with success for years, have been abandoned because the ore " petered out " 



* Lindgren, W. : " The Relation of Ore-deposition to Physical Conditions." Economic Geology, vol. ii, 
1907, pp. 105-27. 

t N.Z. G.S. BuU. No. 6, 1906, p. 146. 

j Rickard, T. A. : " Persistence of Ore in Depth." Trans. Inst. Mining and Metal., vol. xxlv, 1915, 
pp. 1-190. Also Jour. Chem. Metal. Min. Soc. of S. Africa, vol. xv. 1915, No. 6, pp. 109-32. 



124 

below, and was not found again by any work undertaken : sucb are the Caledonian, 
Welcome, Just-in-Time, Golden Treasure, Venus, Anderson's, Energetic, Keep-it-Dark 
(east sboot), Inkernaan (two shoots), and Cumberland. In other cases a continuation of 
the shoots has been found at greater depth, after passing through a zone wholly or 
relatively unproductive. Excellent examples of such blanks occur in the Wealth of 
Nations Mine, where there is a break of over 500 ft. ; in the Big Eiver Mine, between 
No. 6 and No. 7 levels ; and in the Progress Mine, where for several years No. 10 level 
was considered almost a blank. Again, examples have occurred where a level has yielded 
far more ore than was originally expected : such are No. 9 level of the Progress, 
the shaft levels of the Murray Creek Mines, and the levels below No. 7 of the Big 
River. 

The writer does not consider that any of the above instances of variation in size 
of shoots is due to the influence of depth on ore-deposition. In every case these effects 
are to be attributed to faulting. In the Big River Mine the increase in the amount of 
ore in the blocks from No. 7 downward is due only indirectly to earth-movements, 
which have probably caused the non-discoveiy between No. 2 and No. 6 levels of a 
southern shoot, the finding of which on the surface led to the original staking-out of the 
claim. In the Phoenix-Inglewood-Victoria (or Murray Creek) Mine it is reasonable to 
suppose that the large shoot exposed in the lower levels was broken by faulting into the 
three apparently independent shoots worked from adits. A somewhat similar instance of 
blocks, separate on the surface, uniting in depth is afforded by the Globe quartz vein. 
In cases where the augmentation of the ore is temporary- — confined, in fact, to one 
level, as in No. 6 Keep-it-Dark (west shoot) and No. 9 Globe-Progress Mine'^the 
improvement has probably been brought about by the overlapping, through faulting, of 
portions of an ore-shoot originally deposited at diSerent depths. In the converse cases 
where blanks occur, as in the Wealth of Nations and Big River mines, the separation of 
valuable portions of the shoots was indubitably due to the same primary cause. In the 
commonest case, that in which the shoots have terminated and have not been redis- 
covered, earth-movements have undoubtedly produced displacements. In some cases — as 
in the Caledonian, Welcome, Golden Fleece, Keep-it-Dark (east shoot). Progress (Progress 
section), and Inkerman (west shoot) mines — the ore-shoots have decreased in size in 
several successive levels. In others the termination has been abrupt, the line of inter- 
section of the lode and fault-fissures being but slightly incHned from the horizontal : 
examples have occurred in the Fieiy Cross (Just-in-Time shoot). Golden Treasure, Ander- 
son's, Progress (Globe section), Inkerman (east shoot), and Cumberland mines. Shoots 
naturally show frequent minor changes ; but without the intervention of faulting there 
is no undoubted example of definite or progressive variation of size, and in the reason- 
ably well-explored mines the occurrences above mentioned include all the known decided 
variations. 

In regard to the amount of gold contained in the quartz there does not appear to 
be either a decided increase or decrease with depth in any of the shoots, in so far as 
these have been explored. The exti-action of the gold contained in the ore is much 
more complete now than was the case in the early days, owing to the universal use of 
concentrating machinery and the cyanide process, but it may be assumed that the 
proportion of the gold in the unoxidized ore recovered by amalgamation has remained 
fairly constant. It follows, therefore, that there was a tendency for only the 
richer portions of a shoot to be worked in the early days. A table has been prepared 
showing the average yield per ton of gold won by amalgamation, during successive 
periods of years, from the more extensively mined ore-shoots. Though the yields from 
individual levels are not usually obtainable, nevertheless the table, with one partial 
exception, shows the average yield from successive horizons in the shoots. 



125 



Table of Yields per Ton from various Lodes during Different Periods. 







Ounces 






Ounces 


Mine. 


Period. 


per 


Mine. 


Period. 


per 






Ton. 




1 


Ton. 


Welcome 


1876-79 


2-116 


Keep-it-Dark (west) . . 


1899-02 


0-246 




1880-83 


2-384 




1903-06 


0-274 




1884-87 


1-676 




1907-10 


0-189 




1888^92 


1-744 




1911-14 


0-222 


Fiery Cross . . 


1874-77 


1-277 


Globe-Progress 


1884-87 


0-372 




1878-82 


0-975 




1888-91 


0-543 




1884-88 


1-233 




1892-95 


0-466 


Just-in-Time 


1875-78 


1-649 




1896-99 


0-444 




1879-83 


1-013 




1900-02 


0-377 




1884-88 


1-016 




1903-06 


0-337 




1889-92 


0-994 




1907-10 


0-280 


Aj ax-Royal . , 


1872-76 


1-000 




1911-14 


0-210 




190(M)3 


0-466 


Big River 


1888-91 


0-931 




1904^8 


0-393 




1892-95 


1-697 




1909-11 


0-937 




1896-99 


1-214 


Wealth of Nations 


1873-76 


0-691 




1900-02 


1-125 




1877-81 


0-583 




1903-06 


0-974 




1891-94 


0-349 




1907-10 


1-236 




1895-98 


0-297 




1911-14 


1-046 




1899-02 


0-375 


Blackwater . . 


1908-12 


0-50] 




1903-06 


0-300 




1913-15 


0-423 




1907-10 


0-331 


Alpine 


1873-74 


1-526 




1911-14 


0-317 




1881-84 


0-579 


Keep-it-Dark (east) . . 


1876-79 


0-474 




1887-88 


0-624 




1881-84 


0-654 




1891-94 


620 




1885-88 


0-517 




1895-97 


0-407 




1889-92 


0-470 




1898-99 


0-328 


. 


1893-96 


0-468 




1900-02 


0-233 




1897-98 


0-569 




*1903-06 


0-544 



* The tonnage treated during this period was very small, while the gold extracted by cyanidation is 
also included in the yield. 

In the case of the Welcome the first two quadrennial periods refer to yields 
obtained from ore above No. 6 level, the second two are from ore below No. 6 
level. In this adit the subsidiary fractures of the main fault that finally terminated 
the shoot in No. 9 level had already appeared, and below No. 6 the quartz blocks 
were so broken that it was no longer possible to avoid the admixture of large quan- 
tities of worthless country in the ore sent to the mill. Hence the decrease in the 
value of the quartz won from the lower levels. 

In the Ajax-Royal shoots only one early quadrennial period is shown. In 1877 
the Ajax combined with the Golden Fleece Company, and the returns from the 
richer Golden Fleece shoot caused the yield obtained by the new company to be 
decidedly higher per ton. This valuable shoot was displaced by faulting in No. 5 
level, and has not since been recovered. During the present century the Consolidated 
Goldfields developed the Ajax and Royal shoots, and the mill they erected was more 
than capable of deahng with the cun-ent product of the mine. Hence one inceiitivo 
to keep the ore clean was lacking, a condition especially manifest during the 1904-8 
quinquennium, when the vein-quartz above the main adit had been exliausted. and 
it became increasingly difficult to keep the mill supplied from ore-bodies more distant 
from the shaft at each short-lived level. The tributers who exti-acted the ore from 



126 

No. 15 level were not concerned whether the battery ran continuously or not, and 
the ore won was clean, and approached in value per ton that from the upper horizons 
of the shoots. 

In the Wealth of Nations Mine the ten-year gap between the two earliest and 
the later periods represents in time the 500 ft. vertical displacement between the 
ore-bodies worked from adits and those worked from the shafts. Traces of ore 
were followed down the fault-zone ; but the marked difEerence in value between the 
upper and lower portions of the shoots, of which three are worked in the lower 
portion of the mine, suggests either that a shoot or shoots have not yet been found 
below or, more probably, that one of the large and poorer shoots is unknown near 
the surface. It should be noted that all the blocks worked from the adits were 
in country more or less disturbed, and occurred in unlike attitudes. 

In regard to the variation in yield shown by the Keep-it-Dark (west shoot) 
in the two middle periods, it should be noted that during the first of these the 
" eyes of the mine were picked " to provide dividends, and that the impoverishment 
shown during the second of these time-intervals indicates the crushing of the lower- 
grade ore-bodies, in gi-eat part developed, but not extracted, between 1903 and 
1906. The mean of these two periods should therefore be taken. 

To a greater degree even than in the Keep-it-Dark (west shoot), large masses 
of low-grade ore exist in each level of the Globe-Progress Mine, and when de- 
velopmental work did not disclose more profitable ore this was attacked. Until 
1898, when the property was acquired by the Progress Mines, the vein was worked 
by the Globe, Oriental, and Progress companies, and these did not operate so 
systematically or so cheaply as their large successor. Consequently only the richer 
portions of the vein were extracted during the first four periods. When the Progress 
Mines took possession six levels were in existence, and by 1902 four more had been 
opened. Thus before the end of the first of the later group of quadrennial periods 
all the levels save one had already been opened, and for many years ore was drawn 
from all levels from No. 2 downward, while as late as 1914 ore was stoped fr-om 
No. 5 level. The mill has not crushed to its full capacity since 1907, and for 
several years before the supply of ore had not been abundant. Thus from 1888 
to 1899 the diminishing returns from the Globe-Progress may reasonably be ascribed 
to the fact that it was approximately as profitable to extract ore already developed 
as to open up and stope blocks of shghtly higher tenor. From 1900 to 1914 the 
decrease in the yield per ton is due to the gi'adual exhaustion of the more valuable 
portions of ore-bodies, the limits of which had been roughly determined quite early 
in that period. 

In the case of the Blackwater shoot, though No. 7 level is now more than 
1,000 ft. below the surface, the ore each year has been extracted from several levels, 
so that there are as yet insufficient data for the purposes of the present inquiry. 
The shoot has been included in the table merely to show the efEect of a change 
in the method of working on the tenor of the ore supplied to the mill. Until the 
middle of 1912 the ore was stoped by day labour, but from 1913 onward the 
contract system has been in vogue. The vein is small, averaging under 2 ft. ; the 
contractors are paid by weight, and, in spite of all precautions, more worthless mullock 
finds its way to the battery as ore than was formerly the case. 

The writer has endeavoured to show that the yields from the Hopeful-Welcome 
and Globe-Progress shoots do not necessarily indicate a decrease with depth of the 
amount of gold contained in the ore. The records of the other shoots perhaps on 
the whole show a very slight diminution in the amount of gold won by amalgama- 
tion per ton of ore milled. This, however, does not imply an actual impoverishment 



127 

with depth, because, as already pointed out, the method of treatment is decidedly 
different from that of the early days. At that time the necessity of fixing the gold 
as early in the treatment as possible was obvious, but now gold escaping amalgama- 
tion may still be caught on the concenferating-machines or dissolved in the cyanide- 
vats. The tendency at the present time is not to add mercury to the mortars, 
but to rely entirely on the copper tables for amalgamation. On the other hand, 
frequently renewed wire-woven screens are now used instead of punched plates, and 
consequently the pulp is decidedly more uniform than formerly, and it is generally 
acknowledged that the methods of amalgamation employed are quite as efficient 
as those used in the early days. Again, in stoping, machine drills are coming 
more and more into use ; deeper holes are bored ; and with the consequent heavier 
charges of explosives there is more likelihood, especially when the lode is narrow, 
of more country being mixed with the broken quartz. Moreover, there is a tendency 
to extract the ore more thoroughly from the fissures, and this implies the stoping 
of smaller widths and a correspondingly greater admixture of " mullock." Some- 
times, even in mines where development is well forward, occasions arise when the 
mill is short of ore, and the miner to make good the deficiency breaks lode-matter 
known to be barely profitable. This was more unhkely to happen formerly than 
nowadays, when the advantages of continuous crushing by the battery tend to be 
much overrated. Again, it is known that the tonnage crushed has not been always 
reported accurately, while in other cases, especially in the early days, the yield has 
been given in ounces of retorted and not melted gold. The above considerations 
are sufficient to show that a slight change in the amount of gold saved by amal- 
gamation over a wide period of years cannot be considered proof of variation in 
the composition of the ore in depth. 

In the neighbourhood of Reefton the ore-shoots that have been mined to con- 
siderable depths have all been contained in country that shows not the slightest 
trace of thermal metamoi-phism. Nevertheless, some ore-bodies of considerable richness, 
and undoubtedly closely connected with the lodes of the Reefton neighbourhood, 
have been worked in rock slightly metamorphosed by granite. Such ore-bodies were 
found in the Caledonian Mine, in No. 2 South Lan-y's, in Kii-Wan's Reward, in the 
mines of the Paparoa area, and in those in the vicinity of Lyell and New creeks. 
The extraction of ore in all of these has, for one reason or another, now ceased. 
The Caledonian shoot was cut off by a fault at a depth of less than 200 ft., and 
has not since been recovered ; the " mullock reef " worked by the No. 2 South 
Larry's Company is reported to have merged in depth into a large quartz vein of 
too low a grade to yield a profit ; the Kirwan's Reward gold was extracted from 
a mixture of quartz fr-agments and country formed by the crushing of an ore-body 
by faulting, and all efforts to trace the downward extension of this ore-body have 
hitherto failed. In the Paparoa area the TafEy stock-work rests on a flat floor of 
greywacke — a situation evidently due to earth - movements ; in the Croesus the 
ore of a 3 ft. vein was " sweetened " by rich quartz from a hanging-wall leader, 
and when this latter was lost the mine became unpayable ; in the case of the 
Minerva Mine the large low-grade quartz-body still persists in the deepest workings, 
but the reason that caused the suspension of operations could not definitely be 
ascertained. The writer has no personal knowledge of any of the successful mines 
in tlie neighbourhood of Lyell and New creeks. Here most of the claims depended 
on small but astonishingly rich leaders, none of which could be followed to a con- 
siderable depth. It is notorious, however, that the distribution of such leaders is 
most erratic, that individual leaders are short-lived, and that conditions favourable to 
their occurrence are far more persistent both in horizontal and vertical extension than 



128 

any one leader. Thus in No. 7 level of the Alpine Mine at Lyell a phenomenally 
rich leader was discovered at a depth considerably below that to which any of 
the leader claims had been explored. The Victory shoot at New Creek was, from 
the description given the writer, probably cut ofi by a fault above the lowest adit. 
The shoots of the Alpine Claim were worked continuously from 1872 till 1906, and 
this mine was the only one in the Lyell district to attain a considerable depth. 
Of the earlier half of the period of active operation the annual yields are only ii^ 
part available, so that the figures for this mine given in the table on page 125 
are by no means complete. They prove, however, an undoubted and progressive 
impoverishment in depth of the ore-bodies of the Alpine Mine. Down to No. 11 
level, 1,250 ft. below the outcrop, the lode, although of diminishing value, maintained 
its size. In No. 12 level, however, the blocks were small and broken, and the 
Inspector of Mines reports that earth-movements, evidently of considerable magnitude, 
had taken place at this horizon. The quartz here was, on the whole, of very low 
grade, and no attempt has yet been made to discover the downward extension of 
the lode. 

The facts of observation in respect to ore-impoverishment with depth in the Reefton 
district are as follow : (1) In the ore-shoots penetrating the unaltered sediments there 
is no evidence of impoverishment in depth ; (2) numerous ore-bodies have been extracted 
from the metamorphosed rocks surrounding the gi'anites. The only one of these followed 
to a considerable depth showed pronounced impoverishment. There are some doubtful 
instances of diminished value, while the remainder, owing to mechanical displacements, 
could not be followed far below the surface. 

The genesis of the lodes has already been discussed. Briefly, they are considered to 
have been deposited in fracture-planes by hot solutions escaping from a coohng magma. 
From the fact that ore, which may in this case be defined as quartz sufficiently auriferous 
to be attractive to the miner, occurs in less than 1 per cent, of the veins, it seems 
probable that these solutions were capable of forming ore-bodies during a very brief 
portion of the period of pneumatolytic after-action. Seeing that gas-pores are decidedly 
more numerous in ore than in barren quartz, and that the country of rich lodes is more 
altered than that of worthless ones, it is considered that the former were deposited by 
the solutions first escaping. As the amount of gold and sulphides in these decreased, so 
would decrease the value of the quartz formed from them. Since rich ore occurs 
between walls of greywacke, argillite, and diabase, and since the same shoot may traverse 
all three without variation, it is beUeved that the principal factors controlling the 
deposition of gold were decreasing temperature and pressure. The former is by far the 
more potent,* and in a general discussion the efEects of diminishing pressure may be 
ignored. In the neighbourhood of an unconsolidated magma the isothermal or equal- 
temperature shells must be chiefly determined not by depth below the surface, but by 
the position of the contact between the intrusive rock and that intruded. The nature 
of the ore shows that the solutions from which it was deposited escaped through narrow 
fissures, and the effect of such slender streams on the position of the isothermal surfaces 
must have been quite inconsiderable. As the solutions rose, a rock-temperature must 
have been reached at which ore began to be deposited. It is assumed that the solutions 
issuing from different portions of the sohdifying magma had at any given time nearly 
the same composition. Thus the surface of first ore-deposition must have been, in effect, 
an isothermal surface enveloping the igneous mass. As the solutions altered in 
composition, presumably becoming less and less rich in gold and sulphides, the surface 
of first ore-deposition migrated farther and farther from the stock, and this in spite of 

* Van't Hoff, J. H. : " Physical Chemistry ia the Services of the Sciences," 1903, p. 123. 



129 

a contrary tendency due to falling temperature. Thus it is probable that ore will not 
approach so nearly to the mass from which it originated in the poor as in the rich 
shoots. There must also have been in each fissure a temperature so low that the 
solutions were no longer able to contain constituents capable of depositing ore. This 
point may have been at the actual surface, and its position was certainly as much 
dependent on the land-surface as the point of first ore-deposition was upon the igneous 
contact. This question, however, is not of much importance, seeing that denudation 
has in the Eeefton Subdivision removed so great a thickness of rock that the inter- 
mediate zone containing the ore is now at the surface, or has already been entirely 
eroded. 

Rocks are bad conductors of heat, and the temperature gradient must steepen 
markedly in the neighbourhood of a freezing magma. It is to be expected that an 
ore-deposit formed where the isotherms were close together will show much more 
pronounced variation than one formed in rock where they were wide apart. This affords 
a plausible explanation of the fact that the Alpine lode, which is contained within 
slightly metamorphosed greywacke, shows decided variation in 600 ft. of depth, while no 
change in gold-content can be detected in any of the shoots near Eeefton, although 
half a dozen have been mined 1,500 ft. or more below the surface. It seems logical to 
conclude that until the metamorphic aureole of the granite is reached the gold in the 
quartz veins will not show pronounced diminution : in fact, the data furnished by the 
lodes near Reefton are against any impoverishment at all so long as the country remains 
unaltered. But account must be taken of experience in other mining districts, and this 
is to the effect that even such persistent lodes as are here considered will decrease in 
value, though very slowly, as depth is attained. 

It would be expected that within the zone of ore-deposition there would be a 
particular horizon which would be more favourable for the formation of ore than any 
other, either above or below. This is known to be the case for some metallic ores, but 
experience seems to show that general impoverishment of primary auriferous ores is 
always downward.* Thus, for such a lode as the Alpine it may be argued that its 
upper portion, now denuded, within the unaltered greywackes was probably slightly 
richer than the average ore actually mined, and that the ore-bodies were comparable 
with those found in such high-grade shoots as those of the Boatman's, Ajax, Big River, 
and Blackwater groups. Equally the lodes of these groups will probably contain profit- 
able ore to well within the metamorphic zone. Not even a guess as to the depth the 
granite lies below the present surface can be given for any particular series of lodes. 
Concerning the lower-grade shoots — such as are contained in the Crushington, G-lobe, and 
Menijigs groups — little can be said. Probably quartz attractive to the miner will not 
penetrate so deep as in the case of the richer shoots, but, as there are no data by 
which any absolute depth may be determined, such a statement as to relative depth has 
no practical value. Comparison with other mining districts must be used with caution, 
for it is doubtful if identical essential features are present in any two regions. Those 
which seem most nearly to resemble the Reefton area are Bendigo in Victoria, the 
Mother Lode region of California, and Kolar in India — districts where profitable ore 
has been won at depths twice that from which it has yet been extracted in any 
mine near Reefton. 

Rock-temperatures . 

During the examination of the underground workings a number of rock- 
temperatures were taken, those from the Blackwater Mine being observed by Mr. F. K. 
Broadgate a.nd those from the other localities by the writer. The thermometer was 



* But see remarks on blind shoots on p. 176. 
9 — Beefton, 



130 

left in the hole from fifteen to twenty minutes in each case. In the limited time 
available it was not possible to select bores presenting uniform characteristics as to 
depth, length of time drilled, nature of rock, or position in respect to new ground. 
In the circumstances it is surprising that the temperatures are so generally concordant. 
The data in the case of the Progress and Big River mines are too scanty to be of 
use ; and if the figures relating to them, together with temperatures Nos. 6 and 23, 
which are evidently anomalous, be ignored, the depths to be sunk in the Keep-it- 
Dark, Wealth of Nations, and Blackwater mines to attain an increase of 1° C. are 
respectively about 120 ft., 145 ft., and 165 ft. In general, in the Reefton district the 
rate of increase in temperature is 1° C. for each 150 ft. of depth. 



Table showing Rock-tempebatubks, Reefton Mines. 



Mine. 




Locality. 


gi.S 



Bored in 


Time bored. 




Distance from 
nearest Sur- 
face, in Feet 
(approx.). 


3 £ 
S.Sd 


1. Blackwater 


No. 


2 level . . 


5-0 




18 hours 


175 


150 


14-25 


2. 


No. 


3 level . . 


5-5 




3 days 


300 


270 


15-50 


3. 


No. 


3 level . . 


6-0 




12 hours 


350 


330 


15-75 


4. 


No. 


4 level . . 


3-0 




6 months 


615 


600 


17-00 


5. 


No. 


4 level . . 


3.0 




5 months 


700 


670 


17-26 


6. 


No. 


5 level . . 


4-0 




2 hours 


765 


740 


16-25 


7. Progress 


No. 


7 (E. crosscut) 


4-5 


Mullock 




975 


800 


18-80 


8. Blackwater 


No. 


6 level . . 


6-0 




1 hour 


925 


900 


19-25 


9. Progress 


No. 


9 level (E. drive) . . 


5-5 


Fault-breccia 


1 month 


1,116 


940 


19-50 


10. Wealth of Nations 


No. 


6 level (N.W. cross- 

cut) 

7 level (E. crosscut) 


4-0 


Mullock 


4 hours 


1,219 


1,020 


19-50 


11. Keep-it-Dark . . 


No. 


4-5 


Greywacke 


12 hours 


1,024 


1,060 


20-20 


12. Progress 


No. 


10 level (E. drive) 


3-5 


Mullock 




1,266 


1,100 


19-50 


13. 


No. 


10 level (S. block) . . 


4-5 


Ore 


2 hours 


1,266 


1,100 


19-50 


14. Keep-it-Dark . . 


No. 


8 level (intermediate) 


4-5 


,, . . 


6 hours 


1,195 


1,125 


22-20 


15. Wealth of Nations 


No. 


7 level (N. crosscut) 


3-5 


Mullock 


2 days 


1,344 


1,150 


20-80 


16. Progress 


No. 


11 level (Magazine 
drive 

8 level (N.W. cross- 

cut) 

9 level (main cross- 

cut) 
10 level . . 


4-0 


Greywacke 


4 years 


1,416 


1,240 


22-00 


17. Wealth of Nations 


No. 


30 


Mullock 


3 hours 


1,469 


1,270 


21-50 


18. Keep-it-Dark . . 


No. 




Greywacke 


8 hours 


1,345 


1,300 


22-25 


19. Big River 


No. 


2-.5 


Mullock 


4 days 


1,575 


1,380 


21-50 


20. Wealth of Nations 


No. 


9 level (N.E. cross- 
cut) 


4-5 


Greywacke . . 


4 hours 


1,594 


1,400 


23-00 


21. 


No. 


10 level (No. 3 S. con- 
nection drive) 




Ore 


2 hours 


1,670 


1,470 


23-00 


22. 


No. 


11 level (No. 2 block 


3-0 


Wet ore 


1 hour 


1,818 


1,620 


24-00 


23. 


No. 


_ rise) 
12 level (main cross- 
cut 


4-0 


Greywacke 


16 hours 


2,120 


1,900 


24-40 



Caledonian G-roup. 
History. 

The Caledonian lode was discovered outcropping on the south bank of Larry Creek, 
early in 1872, by Joseph Potter and Thomas Bateman ; but the locality was so remote 
that, had it not been for the rich returns from the Just-in-Time and Fiery Cross 
claims at Capleston, it is doubtful if the district would have received as early atten- 
tion as it did. Other claims were quickly pegged out, and in spite of immense 
difficulties a 10-head crushing plant was erected by the No. 2 South Larry's 
Quartz-mining Company, which held ground south of the Caledonian, on the same 
lode-series. Crushing was commenced in 1874 by both the companies named, with 
satisfactory results, the Caledonian paying a dividend and the No. 2 South Larry's 



131 

liquidating the greater part of the debt incurred on the machinery. For a few years 
operations were successful, but in the 1877 the rich ore of the No. 2 South Larry's 
was exhausted, and a like fate overtook the Caledonian two years later. In 1879 
the two claims merged into the Caledonian Extended, which at first vigorously 
prospected the ground, but carried out their operations later in a desultory way, 
and finally abandoned the ground. 

In 1894 a private company, in which Messrs. B. and R. Dufiy were the principals, 
took up the ground, erected a 5-head battery, and crushed the small block of ore 
left to protect the shaft, and a considerable amount of the old dump, with fair results 
considering the size of the plant. In 1895 this property with many others in the 
district was acquired by Mr. David Ziman, who later transferred it to the Con- 
solidated Goldfields of New Zealand. No attempt was made to reopen the shaft, 
although much money was spent in retimbering old adits, and, the prospects being 
considered unsatisfactory, the property was in 1900 once more abandoned. 

In 1906 a syndicate in which the brothers Duffy were interested began the sinking 
of a new shaft on the north bank of the river. A company, the New Caledonia Gold- 
mining Company, acquired the rights, and with the aid of a subsidy from the Govern- 
ment, after many delays due to the amount of water encountered, succeeded in sinking 
the shaft to a depth sufficient to command untried ground. Prospecting operations, 
however, were unsuccessful, and in 1910 the company collapsed. 

Worhings. 

The original Caledonian Company sank a shaft, 8 ft. by 4 ft. in the clear, on the 
south bank of the river, close to the point of discovery, to a depth of 183 ft., and 
from it four short levels were driven. Water-power was used for pumping and winding. 
The first crushing yielded at the rate of 9 oz. per ton, but subsequent crushings were 
poorer, reducing the average of the ore from the mine to about 4 oz. per ton. The 
ore-shoot had a steep easterly dip, and pitched to the north at about 30°. It had 
an average length of about 180 ft. and a width of 3 ft. No. 3 level yielded little 
ore, and No. 4 none at all ; and from the description given by Mr. G. G. P. Wise, 
sometime legal manager of the claim, the writer has little doubt but that the shoot 
was cut off by a fault, a conclusion supported by the fact that the country rock 
of this locaUty is shattered and fissured, and allows much water to enter the workings. 
The second shaft, sunk north of the river in 1908-9, reached a depth of 285 ft., and 
a level was driven 42 ft. below the lowest workings of the old shaft. A well-slicken- 
sided plane was cut and driven on for about 300 ft. Prom this two crosscuts were 
driven under the old workings, but, beyond cutting the track on which No. 4 level 
of the old shaft had been driven, nothing was discovered, and work ceased. The 
lode-channel in ^o. 3 level strikes about 155°, with a steep easterly dip, while the 
fault-plane in the new shaft strikes 125°, and dips vertically. This fault-plane hes 
about 120 ft. north-east of the point in No. 3 at which the lode was cut off by a 
second fault. The block of ore worked by the old company must be considered as 
the upper portion of a shoot, of which the downward extension lies to the north- 
eastward of the fault-plane explored from the new shaft. A block of ore, however, 
should lie between the fault-planes, and there is little doubt that if prospecting opera- 
tions had been more vigorously undertaken from the new shaft level something of 
value would have been found. 

No. 2 South Larry's Claim was originally developed by an adit, over 600 ft. long, 
driven to the lode. Where struck the lode was 12ft. wide, and consisted of a "mullock 
reef " — that is, small leaders of quartz, which in this case carried visible gold, thickly 
interspersed through slate and sandstone, the whole formation having but ill-defined 

9*— iieefton. 



132 

walls. The first crushing yielded 18 dwt. per ton, but the ore depreciated in value 
both overhead and underfoot, so that the average from the mine was about 11 dwt. 
per ton. The lode-channel was driven on both noi-th and south, and three large ore- 
shoots were proved and worked to the surface. These shoots dipped steeply to the 
eastward, and pitched northward at about 27°. The lowest workings in this claim are 
from the Argyle tunnel, 40 ft. below the main adit of No. 2 South Larry's, and driven 
during 1883-84. Here the ore, although much more compact, was of decidedly lower 
grade (yielding in the battery under 3 dwt. per ton), and could not be worked at a 
profit. Some dislocation of the country has evidently taken place at this point, for 
the majority of the leaders and tracks dip to the westward, whereas in the upper 
workings the dip was consistently to the eastward. The data available are so incom- 
plete that the writer hesitates to recommend the reopening of the lowest tunnel, 
although it is by no means certain that the impoverishment of the ore is of a 
permanent nature. 

A great deal of surface prospecting has been undertaken both north and south 
of the claims here dealt with, but nothing of importance has been found. 

A table showing the returns from the Caledonian group of mines is printed on 
page 133. The official reports from which thip and similar tables have been 
compiled do not contain the tons crushed and ounces obtained for the years ended 
31st March, 1880 and 1885 respectively. 

Italian Gully Group. 
History. 

An auriferous lode was discovered in ItaUan Gully by Francis Walker at about 
the same time as Potter found the Caledonian. The quartz vein was vigorously pro- 
spected, a 5-head battery was erected near the junction of Raglan Creek, and crushing 
began in 1876. It had been anticipated that the ore would give returns similar to 
those of the Hopeful lode, and the actual yield, though nearly an ounce to the ton, 
was very disappointing and unpayable. The company struggled on for a while longer, 
but in 1878 disposed of the claim and plant to the Golden Arch Company. No better 
results were obtained, and in 1883 a tribute was let, and next year the ground was 
abandoned. 

Some prospecting was done in this locaUty in 1894, but it was not until 1905 
that another serious attempt was made to work the original claim. In that year Knight 
and party cleaned out the low level, and erected a small steam-driven 5-head mill 
close to the mouth of the tunnel. In 1907 a crosscut of 100 ft. from the main level 
cut a heaved portion of the lode. Next year the owners, who for some time had 
been known as the Buller United Syndicate, disposed of their claim to the Golden Arch 
Gold-mining Company, which erected a 10-head mill driven by oil-engine, and a cyanide 
plant. The opening-up of the low level was completed, and the lode explored for a 
short distance. The return of £2 10s. per ton did not pay, chiefly because the ore 
was small and enclosed in very hard walls. The claim was worked by tributers with 
considerable success for some time before the company went into liquidation. 

Workings. 

No plans of this mine are available to the writer, but the shoot is known to be at 
least 500 ft. in length, with an average thickness of 6 in. to 8 in., which expands in one 
place to over 3 ft. The strike is approximately 10° west of north, and the dip is 
eastward at about 70°. The position of the wide portion of the lode in the various 
levels indicates a northerly pitch of about 35°. Four levels in all have been constructed. 




700.3-l5.fc35. 



1.33 

of whicli the three upper are driven from a small creek directly on ore. The lower 
adit crosses country for some hundreds of feet before striking the lode, which it follows 
north and south, in all about 500 ft., while ore of average size and tenor still shows in 
the face at either end. A fault striking about 20° east of north, with a steep easterly 
dip, crosses the lode south of the point at which the crosscut enters, and heaves it about 
100 ft. to the westward. Other dislocations, probably subsidiary to the first, occur 
farther south, and their displacements, though small, add considerably to the cost of 
mining. Their tendency is to shift the lode to the westward again. 

The only other claim on this lode-series that has received attention is the Garibaldi, 
which lies to the south of the Golden Arch and within the basin of Burk Creek. The 
brothers Coghlan did some prospecting here in the " nineties," and proved an ore-shoot 
of a width and value similar to that occurring in the Golden Arch Claim. 



Table showing 


THE 


Yields 


FROM THE Caledonian, Italian Gully, ] 


imwAN, 


AND PAINKILLEli 








Groups of Mines. 












Caledonian. 


No. 2 South 
Larry's. 


Golden Arch, 
Italian Gully. 


Kirwan's Reward. 


Sir Charles 
Uussell. 


Yeaf ended 


















Tons. 


Oz. 


Div. 


Tons. 


Oz. 


Tons. 


Oz. 


Div. 


Tons. 


Oz. 


Div. 


Tons. 


Oz. 


March 31 — 






£ 










£ 






£ 






1875 . . 


130 


463 


750 


2,460 


1,844 




















1876 . . 


149 


375 




3,640 


1,911 


























1877 . . 


34 


136 




1,533 


322 


ii4 


109 






















1878 . . 


120 


771 


1,500 


244 


52 


240 


254 






















1879 . . 


60 


200 








159 


105 


104 




















1880 . . 


? 


107 








1 


48 






















1891 .. 






























i? 


34 


1894 . . 


. , 




























11 


11 


1895 . . 


20 


20 


























470 


294 


1896 . . 


900 


97 




















* 






383 


268 


1897 . . 








^ 






















90 


52 


1900 . . 






























26 


6 


Dec. 31— 




























1900 . . 


















1,763 


1,873 








1901 . . 


















2,822 


2,290 


3,500 








1902 . . 


















3,963 


2,548 


5,600 








1903 . . 


















4,814 


1,791 


2,100 








1904 . . 


















6,250 


1,950 












1905 . . 












50 


ii 




7,584 


1,684 












1906 . . 












60 


55 




2,354 


622 












1907 . . 












65 


50 


















1908 . . 


























146* 


99* 


1909 . . 












307 


2i9 




230 


40 






234* 


142* 


1910 . . 






, , 






74 


63 










. 






1911 .. 












30 


33 




•• 













* Returns from the Ulster Claim. 



KmwAN Group. 

History. 

In December of 1896 William Kirwan while on a prospecting expedition discovered 
that loose gold-bearing quartz, often in large blocks, covered an area of several acres, 
at a height of about 3,600 ft., on the flanks of a mountain whicli afterwards received 
the name of Kirwan's Hill. Prospecting proved that large quartz veins, from 3 ft. to 
6 ft. wide, traversed the country north-east of the find, but in none was the gold-content 
even approximately equal to that of the loose quartz. In October, 1897, the Anglo- 
Continental Company acquired an option over a gi-oup of leases in this locality, and 
vigorously prospected for the sohd lode by means of adits and winzes. Tlieir efforts, 



134 

however, were unsuccessful, and in 1898 tlie option lapsed, althougli the company 
retained a third interest in the Kirwan's Reward Gold-mining Company, which was then 
formed to erect a mill and crush the loose surface ore. By June of 1900 a 10-head 
water-driven mill had been erected, connected with the claim by an aerial tram, and 
crushing shortly commenced. In 1902 another 5 heads of stamps were added to the 
battery, which, besides amalgamating-tables and berdans, had the old-fashioned blanket 
strakes as the only concentrating appliance. Nevertheless the oxidized ore was of so 
free-milling a nature that the taihngs from the mill compared most favourably in lowness 
of gold-content with those from other mills in the district. During the winter months 
the heavy snow and severe frosts consequent on the high altitude stopped all work in 
the open-cuts which yielded the ore. In 1907 the quartz became exhausted, and the 
property was acquired by Mr. P. N. Kingswell, who, after a period of unsuccessful 
prospecting, sold the plant and claim to Pettigrew and party in 1909. This syndicate, 
after putting through a small trial crushing with unfavourable results, concentrated their 
energy on prospecting, and have now driven a low-level adit over 2,000 ft. in length, 
intended to explore the ground beneath the old open-cuts, at a depth of more than 
1,000 ft. beneath the lowest workings. 

The numerous veins of this locality at one time or other have received a great deal 
of attention from prospectors. During 1897-98 at least a score of claims were actively 
prospected, and gold-bearing lodes were located in several of them, of which perhaps 
the Newhaven yielded the least discouraging results. In 1911-14 this lode was again 
systematically tried and abandoned by the Hit-or-Miss syndicate. 

In 1905 Kirwan and party discovered a gold-bearing quartz vein about a mile up 
the small creek which enters the north branch of the Waitahu, nearly opposite Kirwan 
Creek. The lode was too broken for serious exploitation, although the quartz assayed 
satisfactorily, and the claim, known as the Main Reef, was soon abandoned. The lode, 
which is reported to be about 30 in. in width, was driven on for 70 ft. or more, and a 
winze was sunk. The workings, which were not visited, lie without the boundary of the 
subdivision, and therefore are not shown on the maps. 

Workings 

The open-cuts from which the ore crushed by the Kirwan's Reward Company was 
won occur over an irregular area 20 chains by 15 chains in the Lord Brassey Claim. 
Altogether it was found that at a depth of about 120 ft. below the original surface the 
loose broken material became too deficient in quartz fragments to pay for working. 
Numerous winzes and tunnels, often hundreds of feet in length, were constructed in 
order to explore the shattered zone, but no plan of these workings is available, and the 
same must be said concerning the Newhaven and Hit-or-Miss claims. In 1901-2 a 
tunnel over 500 ft. in length was driven from the head of a branch of Larry Creek, for 
the purpose of exploring in depth a lode that outcrops along the western shoulder of 
Kirwan's Hill, and from which a large block of rich ore found in the creek was con- 
sidered to be derived. Nothing was cut in this tunnel, which will need to be produced 
another 1,000 ft. at least to accomphsh the object desired. The tunnel being driven 
by Pettigrew and party from the upper valley of Kirwan Creek had at the time of the 
writer's visit reached a length of 1,460 ft., but by July, 1915, had peneti-ated about 
2,000 ft. For the first 1,400 ft. the country was very wet and shaken, but for the 
remainder of the distance driven was much more solid. Numerous leaders and a 
few fair-sized quartz lodes have been cut, but of these most are quite bai-ren and 
the rest are unpayable. The strike of these lodes in general is west of north, and 
the dip easterly. 

The extraction of the broken quartz from the open-cuts proved that the ore 
lay on or near the surface in the western portion of the gTound worked, while to 



I3b 

the north-east it was overlain by a thick layer of rubble, and this in spite of the 
fact that in this locality the surface is some hundreds of feet lower than the western 
end of the claim. It was not uncommon to find fragments of lode enclosed in 
country which closely resembUd that of the other lodes of this locality. McKay* 
states that the lodes strike south-south-east, but the writer's observations go to show 
that when unaffected by faulting they strike east of north. Several powerful fault- 
zones striking west of north traverse this region, and near them the orientation of 
the lodes conforms more or less with that of their strike. From these facts as 
premises the conclusion may be drawn that the deposit worked originated through 
a large auriferous lode, striking east of north, with an easterly dip and northerly 
pitch, becoming involved in the shatter-zone of a powerful dislocation striking north- 
west and dipping south-west. The downward continuation of the shoot should then 
exist to the north-eastward, and probably crosses portions of the Mark Twain and 
Kirwan's Eeward claims into the Barl Brassey and Newhaven ground. It is significant 
that the only reefs found in this locality not absolutely barren traverse these claims, 
and it is not unreasonable to consider them shoots of poorer ore on the same lode- 
channel as that carrying the shoot which furnished the rich broken quartz. It is 
probable that this shoot will nowhere reach the surface in the claims mentioned. 
If these conclusions are con-ect the extensive prospecting operations of Pettigrew 
and party will certainly not achieve their primary object. 

Capleston Group. 
History. 

In the Boatman's district the first discovery of an auriferous lode was made in 
January, 1872, by Axel Topfer, on a claim called the Boatman's Creek, that later 
formed part of the Just-in-Time. Other discoveries quickly followed, the Just-in-Time 
(west reef) by James Clarke, the Alexandra, the Fiery Cross by Messrs. M. and J. 
Ryan, the El Dorado by P. Q. Caples, and the Hit-or-Miss (better known as Specimen 
Hill) by Thomas Gafiney. In 1873 the Just-in-Time and Fiery Cross companies jointly 
built a water-driven 15-head battery. The first crushing was of 308 tons from the 
Just-in-Time lode, and the yield of 1,631 oz. was most opportune, in that it restored 
pubUc confidence then waning by reason of the poor returns from the Murray Creek 
mines. The Fiery Cross in the same year, although crushing ore much less valuable, 
obtained sufficient gold to provide a dividend as well as to pay for its share of the 
mill. In 1874 the eastern lode of the Just-in-Time was found, and the energies of 
the company were directed to its exploitation. For many years the Fiery Cross and 
Just-in-Time were two of the most important mines in the Reefton district. Each 
worked one of the great ore-shoots developed along the main lode-channel of this 
locality, and each absorbed adjoining claims in which only parts of these shoots could 
be found near the surface. 

In 1875 a third rich shoot lying to the north along the same channel was attacked 
by the Hopeful (Company. This, the richest shoot in the Reefton district, was 
discovered early in 1872 by the brothers Ryan. The first applicant for the claim 
was Henry Chaplin, and the date of registration of the company 12th April, 1872. 
By 1879 the Hopeful had distributed over £40,000 in dividends ; while two years 
before, the Welcome, registered 20th August, 1873, and working the same shoot, had 
also begun to pay dividends. For ten years the Welcome was the most consistently 
profitable mine in the Reefton district, distributing during this period more than 
£100,000 in dividends on a paid-up capital of £3,750. 



* McKay, Alex. : " Report on the Auriferous Bocks of the Western 81opcs of the Victoria Mountains, 
Nelson." Mines Report, 1898, C.-9, p. 2. 



136 

The year 1881 was an exceptionally prosperous one for tlie district, and as a 
consequence much prospecting was done in the Boatman's area. Rich ore was found 
in another shoot on the main lode-channel, this time to the south of the Just-in-Time 
shoot. This find, made in the Imperial Claim (late Alhambra, late Eose of Lancaster), 
proved of small importance, and although the shoot was in subsequent years explored 
by the Reform and Just-in-Time companies no valuable ore-bodies were discovered. 
Another claim, the Specimen Hill, also got good ore. The claim was originally called 
the Hit-or-Miss, was afterwards known as the Lucky Hit, and later as the Croesus. 
On the same lode-series, farther to the south, are the Pactolus, prospected by Henry 
Evans in 1878, the Lady of the Lake, and the Argus. 

For the year ended 31st March, 1882, the Welcome distributed no less a sum 
than £34,500 to its shareholders ; and, since it was known that the pitch of the lode 
would shortly take the continuation of the rich ore-bodies out of the Welcome ground, 
two projects were initiated during that year to develop them in depth. The Eureka, 
after many objections from the Fiery Cross and Welcome companies, commenced the 
construction of an inclined tunnel, the workings from which ultimately penetrated 
to the desired position. The second project consisted in the driving of a low-level 
adit from Little Boatman Creek in such a direction and to such a distance that a 
shaft sunk near its end would command the Hopeful- Welcome lode beyond the Welcome 
ground. As this tunnel when consti'ucted would cut across the trend of the lodes 
in this locality, prospect several claims in depth, and provide ready access to any 
blocks of ore that might be found in th^m, the Occidental, Welcome No. 2, Homeward 
Bound, Specimen Hill, North Cleopatra, Comstock, and Great Eastern companies, holding 
claims on or near the line of the tunnel, all contributed to its cost. Most of these 
companies were defunct long before the completion of the adit, which was finished 
in 1886 by the Homeward Bound and Specimen Hill at a total cost of about £5,000, 
of which £300 was paid by the Mines Department as a subsidy. 

Rock-borers came into general use in the Boatman's district in 1883, when the 
Eureka erected a steam-driven compressing plant at the mouth of the incline tunnel, 
while a turbine-driven installation supplied air to the drills of the Specimen Hill adit. 
The Welcome Company in the same year excavated a large chamber at the end of 
their lowest adit (No. 6), and placed in it boilers and a winding-engine and an air- 
compressor. A flue 800 ft. in length conducted the smoke and exhausted air from 
the mine to the surface through their own and the Hopeful old workings. A shaft 
was sunk, which by 1887 had attained to a depth of 430 ft. below No. 6 adit. Ore 
could not be found at this depth ; and the subsequent history of this and the 
immediately adjoining mines is made up of a series of attempts to find the continuation 
of the Welcome shoot. Thus the Eureka by 1888 had expended £18,000 in one 
unsuccessful attempt, while the Homeward Bound had sunk a shaft from the end 
of the Specimen Hill adit, to a depth of 300 ft., in another. The Welcome struggled 
on without result until 1892, when the long-talked-of amalgamation with the Home- 
ward Bound and Eureka companies was effected, and from this date until the claims 
were acquired by the ConsoUdated Goldfields in 1897 prospecting operations were 
carried on fiom the Eureka workings only. In 1893 a fire broke out in the under- 
ground chamber at the top of the Welcome shaft, and plant there placed was 
completely destroyed. 

The directors of the Just-in-Time and Fiery Cross mines conducted the financial 
operations of their companies in a manner differing in no wise from that of the 
other claims in the Reefton district. After a block of ore had been discovered 
prospecting ceased, and all the energies of the staff were utihzed in the extraction 
of the ore-bcdy, while profits were distributed as quickly as they accrued. That the 



137 

returns from the mines and the dividends declared were erratic was not to be 
wondered at, and the reader may readily reconstruct the general history of each 
mine from the table on page 142. Prior to 1882 the Just-in-Time had obtained 
its ore by means of long adits and winzes therefrom, but in 1883 a shaft was sunk 
in conjunction with the Imperial Company close to their mutual boundary. The 
Imperial (later the Eeform) at no time developed a profitable ore-body, but the Just- 
in-Time foun.d highly payable quartz in their 200-ft.-shaft level from a block quite 
close to the northern boundary of the claim. The pitch of the lode carried it below 
this level into the adjoining Fiery Cross ground, where it was worked with great 
profit. By 1889 the ore-body in the Just-in-Time had become exhausted, and the 
company collapsed in 1891. 

The Fiery Cross in the early days showed great vitahty. In 1887 it absorbed 
the Alexandra and in 1888 the Hopeful Extended. From this latter claim splendid 
returns had been obtained for a few years, before its ore-shoot passed into the 
Welcome ground ; and after years of desultory prospecting, during which tributes were 
let on several occasions and one reconstruction took place, the company lost its 
identity. The Fiery Cross had fewer vicissitudes than the Just-in-Time. For many 
years the ore came entirely from the Fiery Cross shoot, but in 1887 what is 
indubitably the Just-in-Time shoot was struck in the 450 ft. level. While this 
shoot was undisturbed regular dividends were paid, but as soon as an unfavourable 
condition was encountered the expense of handUng the waste rock, incidental to the 
means of access adopted, soon forced the company into liquidation. This occurred 
in 1893, when the plant and claim were purchased by Eooney and party. A block 
of ore considered by the company of too low a grade for profitable extraction was 
worked with success for nearly two years, but the mine had been doing badly for 
some time when Mr. D. Ziman purchased it in 1895. 

The claim held by the Specimen Hill Company was one of the most disappointing 
in the whole district. The surface was strewn with blocks and fragments of quartz, 
often richly auriferous, and the numerous trenches and prospecting-drives seldom 
failed to disclose " tracks " carrying boulders of ore. In 1881 what was considered 
a good find was made, and next year a battery was erected in Little Boatman Creek. 
Returns, however, were most disappointing, and this, combined with the erratic nature 
of the ore-bodies, led ultimately to the abandonment of the claim in 1893. 

In 1880 John Devereux prospected a claim known as the Orlando situated close 
to Trigonometrical Station CC, on the ridge between Boatman Creek and the Waitahu. 
The writer could not ascertain if auriferous ore was obtained here, and on visiting 
the locality concluded that the prospecting trenches and drive had followed a fault- 
plane in Devonian quartzite. 

In 1885 John McCafierty found ore in the Lone Star Claim, which appears to 
be directly on the line of the main Boatman's lode-channel. Next year a company 
was formed, which drove several adits and spent much money without locating a 
persistent ore-body. In 1888 an aerial tram was erected, and what ore had been 
broken was crushed at the Just-in-Time battery. The yield was disappointing, and 
the company was wound up shortly afterwards. 

The first crushing plant erected in the Boatman Creek district allowed the taihngs 
to run directly into the sludge-channel. Blanket strakes, however, were soon introduced, 
and the concentrates were regi-ound with mercury. In 1880 the Welcome erected a 
new 10-head mill fitted with berdans, and in the same year the retreatment of tailings 
in the Just-in-Time - Fiery Cross mill was attempted. There is Uttle doubt, however, 
that at least 50 per cent, of the gold was lost, and the writer considers this a 
moderate estimate when the coarseness of the gratings used and the amount of 



138 

stibnite in the ore are considered. In 1893 the Cassel Grold-extraction Company 
erected a small cyanide plant at Capleston to treat the accumulations of tailings 
there. The amount of slimes and stibnite present militated against success, and 
towards the end of 1894 the company withdrew from the field. In later years, 
1903-5, after the conditions requisite for success had become known from the 
operations of plants in other parts of the Reefton district, the New Welcome Company 
successfully treated the tailings from its plant. 

In 1895 Mr. David Ziman acquired the Just-in-Time and Fiery Cross claims as 
well as other ground in the neighbourhood. Later the Welcome United also became 
his property, and under the auspices of the Consolidated Goldfields of New Zealand 
a new company with a working capital of £15,000 was formed to develop the ground. 
A crosscut was driven from the Eureka incline, and Nos. 4, 5, and 6 adits of the 
Welcome were cleaned out and retimbered. A new block of ore was discovered at 
the northern end of No. 5, and energetically developed. The Specimen Hill adit was 
next reopened, and a crosscut projected to cut the new ore-body at that level. Con- 
nection with No. 5 was estabhshed in 1900, but the new shoot could not be traced 
to the level of the adit ; and after all the ore had been removed and ti-eated at a 
5-head battery, aud small cyanide plant erected near the mouth of the main tunnel, 
the mine was let on tribute for a few years, and the claim finally surrendered in 
1907. Meanwhile the Consolidated Goldfields cleaned out No. 4 level of the Fiery 
Cross and the 200-ft.-shaft level of the Just-in-Time Claim. In 1899 the Just-in-Time 
shaft was deepened to 400 ft., and the Imperial shoot explored at that level. .This 
ore-shoot, that had years before been found valueless, did not belie its reputation, 
and after a period of unsuccessful tiibuting the claims were surrendered and the 
crushing plant dismantled. 

The Welcome Claim was immediately taken up after its surrender, aud after a 
lengthy period of prospecting a company was formed to test the ground. This company, 
however, shortly collapsed. The Just-in-Time ground also received attention from 
prospectors, and on the 6th August, 1910, a company was registered which reopened 
the mine and did a considerable amount of prospecting in the two shaft levels. 
Nothing in the nature of a payable block was discovered, and in 1910 the company 
went into voluntary liquidation. Recently the Welcome, Fiery Cross, and Just-in-Time 
claims have come under one ownership ; and the promise of £10,000 subsidy having 
been obtained from the Government, a renewed attempt to form a company financially 
strong enough to explore the deep levels was successfully made, and mining operations 
begun. 

Workings. 

Welcome United and Hopeful Mines. — The Hopeful- Welcome shoot was in its upper 
portion exploited by adits driven northward from Caples Creek, and in this manner 
a depth of nearly 600 ft. below the outcrop was attained. The lowest or sixth adit, 
however, had to be driven more than 2,000 ft. before striking the ore-body, and it 
became evident that further development would have to be by a different method. 
Accordingly a vertical shaft 9 ft. by 4 ft. in the clear was sunk at the end of No. 6 
adit, nearly 3,000 ft. from dayhght. This ultimately reached a depth of 430 ft., and 
from it three levels were driven. In the lowest level (No. 9) no ore could be dis- 
covered ; and for this reason, and from the fact that the workings were then very 
close to the claim boundary, the shaft was not sunk deeper. These workings showed 
that the ore-shoot had a length on the horizontal of nearly 600 ft., with an easterly 
dip of 66° and a northward pitch of about 32°. The thickness of the ore averaged 
perhaps 30 in., but occasionally was as much as 7 ft. That the ore-shoot has a greater 
linear extent than that here allowed it, or that another shoot existed on the same 



139 

lode-channel, was proved in 1897, when No. 5 level was extended northward on ore 
220 ft. beyond the Umits as previously determined. This block was not traced down- 
wards below No. 6, while upward it had been removed by denudation. 

So far only the Hopeful-Welcome workings, properly so called, have been con- 
sidered. Other groups of underground workings designed to exploit the main ore-shoot 
at a greater depth exist in the Specimen Hill - Homeward Bound and Eureka tunnels 
and shafts. Thus the Specimen Hill adit, about 40 ft. below No. 6 level, peneti-ated 
a distance of 2,300 ft. from daylight ; and at this point, just on the edge of the Home- 
ward Bound Claim, a vertical shaft was sunk to a depth of 300 ft. Gold-bearing 
quartz is reported to have been cut by this shaft, but no prospecting operations 
were conducted upon it. The Homeward Bound Company did a little unsuccessful 
prospecting from No. 9 level Welcome, and from the intermediate above it. The New 
Welcome Company, formed in 1898, drove a branch tunnel from a point about 1,500 ft. 
from the mouth of the adit, 1,200 ft. in length, to explore the country beneath the 
ore-body developed in No. 5 level north, but found nothing. A rise was put up con- 
necting the adit with No. 5 level, and the ore worked in this part of the mine was 
taken out by this route. The Eureka workings consist of a tunnel 1,800 ft. in length, 
inchned at an angle of about 18° from the horizontal. From the bottom of the incline 
the tunnel was continued horizontally for 660 ft., and from this point a vertical shaft 
or winze was put down, and levels driven at depths of 243 ft. and 533 ft. A con- 
siderable amount of prospecting was done from these levels, chiefly along " reef-tracks," 
and connection was made with the old Welcome workings. Crosscuts were also driven 
from the incline westward to explore the lode-channel between the Welcome-Hopeful 
and Fiery Cross shoots. These operations were not successful in locating an ore-body, 
and prospecting was ultimately abandoned. 

An inspection of a plan and section of the Welcome-Hopeful workings makes it 
obvious that the ore-shoot has been displaced by a fault. The shoot contracts in 
width below No. 7 level, and may be said to die out at No. 9 level. The minor 
displacements which generally accompany a fault seem to have first appeared in No. 6 
level and continued throughout to No. 9. " Stone is found in detached blocks along 
the line - of reefing country for 600 ft. to 700 ft., and runs in narrow seams rich in 
gold ; but it is much broken up by hard sandstone bars which cross the course of 
the reef."* A similar condition obtained throughout the ore-body developed in No. 5 
level north, and this was also cut off to the north, and could not be traced as far 
down as the level of the Specimen Hill adit. Concerning the country beyond the 
limits of the ore-bodies, there are numerous references in the reports of the Wardens 
and Inspectors of Mines of " tracks " filled with the black pug and quartz fragments 
so characteristic of faults in the country of the lodes in the Reefton district. These 
facts establish that the Hopeful-Welcome shoot has been faulted, and that before 
entering the zone of intense faulting in which the ore-bodies were completely shattered 
it went through a belt of countiy, about 10 chains in width, traversed by numerous 
minor displacement-planes. Since the underground workings are now inaccessible, 
and since no record of the strikes of tliese planes has been preserved, other sources 
must be sought in order to obtain this information. The main faults of this locaUty 
strike south-east, and an important dislocation separates the Miocene strata from the 
Palieozoic rocks a short distance to the northward. The eastern edge of this zone of 
faulting may be studied near the junction of Italian and Raglan creeks, at Howell's 
sluicing claim, and again in Burk Creek. Coal Creek, a small branch of Burk Creek, 
has its course entirely in the zone, which is also concerned in the (irushing of the 
Specimen Hill ore-bodies. Near the Little Boatman - Coal Creek saddle the whole belt 



♦ Mines Report : Official Report of Mr. Warden Bird. C.-3, 1890, p. 157. 



140 

is apparently about 20 chains in width. The fault has a downthrow to the south- 
westward, the amount of which cannot be precisely deternoined, but on topographical 
grounds the writer is incUned to put the movement at the Welcome Mine at about 
600 ft., of which the major shift is concentrated in the eastern half of the zone of 
dislocation. It may reasonably be assumed that the fault-plane is nearly vertical, 
and there is evidence that the amount of the movement decreases towards the south. 
The recovery of the lost lode, although a matter of much expense and difficulty, is by 
no means impracticable, while the prize awaiting the judicious explorer may be very great. 
Fiery Cross Mine. — No. 6 adit of the Welcome has a course of nearly 1,500 ft. 
through the Fiery Cross Claim before it enters the Hopeful ground. A small block 
in the former claim was explored from this adit, but the principal workings are 
approached by means of a vertical shaft. Three levels are driven from this shaft 
at depths of 191 ft., 300 ft., and 450 ft. respectively from the brace. The shaft, 9 ft. 
by 4 ft. in the clear, is near the southern end of the outcrop of the ore-shoot, which 
has a pitch to the northward of abbut 35°, and the chamber of the 450 ft. level is 
nearly 500 ft. in a direct line from the edge of the ore-body. Further exploitation 
of the shoot was undertaken by means of winzes sunk on the ore to the 553 ft. level. 
No doubt the directors were influenced in their choice of the method of working by 
the fact that the ore-shoot was at this depth very close to the Hopeful boundary, 
and would at a depth of 300 ft. below the 450 ft. level completely leave the Fiery 
Cross ground. The method of winding used at this time (1886-87) was very costly ; and 
although the ore was of very fair quahty and had been proved by winze 70 ft. below 
No. 5 level, the management, as soon as the Just-in-Time shoot was found in the 
450 ft. level, turned their attention to the south end of the mine. Here the same 
penny-wise-pound-foolish method of development was adopted. An incline winding-shaft 
was sunk on the ore-body, and a connection made with the Just-in-Time workings. 
Ultimately a depth of 360 ft. on the incline was reached by this shaft, and three levels 
were opened from it. At this depth the shoot was interrupted by a rock floor — that is, 
a flat - dipping fault — which shelved gently to the northward. Similar shelves had 
twice before cut off the Just-in-Time shoot in the parent claim, and a like phenomenon 
had occurred in connection with the Welcome shoot. Thus what had happened was 
weU understood, and had the main shaft been sunk to the 800 ft. level during the 
prosperous years immediately preceding the company would have been in a position 
to pick up the shoot without much trouble. As it was, the blind shaft was now 
useless, and the shareholders being unwilling to undertake the heavy expense of 
deepening the main shaft below the worked-out ground the company went into liquida- 
tion, and in 1893 the plant and claim were sold to a working-party. Although this 
party continued to extract ore from the mine for several years with success, and 
although the claim afterwards belonged to the Consolidated Goldfields for many years, 
no further development-work of value has since been undertaken. 

The Fiery Cross shoot contained ore of an average thickness of between 3 ft. and 
4 ft. In the upper levels the length of the shoot on the horizontal was rather more 
than 400 ft., but in depth it was decidedly less. The most common — ^in fact, the only 
proved — cause in the Reefton district for such a diminution in length of ore-shoot is 
faulting ; and the writer surmises that the fault which crushes the coal-seams of Coghlan's 
mine at Capleston, and which from this point strikes toward the Fiery Cross Claim, here 
manifests itself. The few outcrops of Aorere rock on the claim indicate faulting of 
some kind, but nothing can be learned from the meagre reports describing the under- 
ground workings. This fault, which is of no great magnitude, is parallel to the Welcome 
fault, and probably has a downthrow to the eastward. It will not prove a serious 
obstacle to the fuiding of the ore-bodies at greater depth. 



141 

Just-in-Time Mine. — The larger half of the rich ore obtained from this mine was 
won from workings approached by adits, of which the principal were the Walhalla and 
Boatman's Creek adits. The " western reef " of the Just-in-Time, lying about 200 ft. 
to the westward of the main ore-shoot, was also attacked from an adit. The 200 ft. 
level of the main shaft intercepted the shoot close to the northern boundary of the 
claim, and no ore appears to have been extracted or exploration attempted on this shoot 
in the claim below this level. The 200 ft. level was also driven southward beneath the 
Imperial-Reform workings, but nothing of value was found ; and similar remarks apply 
also to the 400 ft. level of this mine. The South Hopeful workings may be considered 
to be on the Imperial ore-shoot. The greater part of the adit was driven along " reef- 
track " — indeed, the only ore found was discovered a few feet from the main drive, and 
only 33 ft. from its portal. The stone, though rich, was but a few inches in thickness 
and erratically distributed along the lode-channel. The Just-in-Time shoot appears, 
from the available plans and sections, to have an irregular shape. The ore-bodies had 
an average thickness of 4 ft., and varied up to at least 10 ft. in width, while 200 ft. 
appears to have been their maximum length. As the shoot was followed downward 
gently dipping floors were met with, which cut off the ore sharply, and the workings to 
the lower portion of the shoot had to be carried farther eastward than the dip of the 
shoot would warrant. These so-called floors are, as previously mentioned, flatly dipping 
planes of dislocation, and probably represent minor displacements in connection with 
vertical faults. They were encountered at several points in the adit workings of the 
claim as well as in the 200-ft. -shaft level. The southern ore-bodies of the Fiery Cross, 
however, undoubtedly belong to this shoot, the ore corresponding closely in size and 
tenor with that from the Just-in-Time. Moreover, the ore-body fotuid in the southern 
workings of the Fiery Cross cut out abruptly quite close above the 450 ft. level of that 
mine. This drift is practically at the same height above datum as the Just-in-Time 
200 ft. level. Another floor dipping gently to the northward appeared in the lowest 
workings of the Fiery Cross, and no serious attempt has been made to locate the 
continuation of the ore below it. If, as has been assumed, the southern ore-bodies of 
the Fiery Cross are part of the Just-in-Time shoot, there is a belt of barren ground 
between the workings of the respective claims which can only be due to faulting. The 
writer suggests that what is known as the " western reef " is a fragment of the main 
ore-shoot moved by faulting to its present position, 200 ft. to the westward. Certainly 
all efforts to trace this ore-body downward have ended in failure. 

The Imperial (or Reform) shoot has not been developed to the same extent as the 
three lodes lying to the northward along the same lode-series. The reason for this is 
not far to seek. No large ore-body has ever been found within its bounds, and the 
bulk of such stone as has been found is of low grade. Thus little information is 
available concerning the dip and pitch of the shoot, and what facts can be obtained 
may most readily be explained by supposing that a large ore-shoot carrying low-grade 
ore has been crushed by the fault that rims along Boatman Creek in this locality. A 
mere walk along the valley is sufficient to convince the most sceptical as to the existence 
of a fault-zone, and the only difficulty lies in the determination of its strike. The 
valley itself here runs parallel to the direction of well-known faults in the locality, and 
is continued southward by a small stream which has been proved by prospecting 
operations to traverse crushed country, so that the fracture-zone may be given a north- 
west course. 

Lone Star Mine.— The lode outcrops on the ridge between Boatman Creek and the 
Waitahu River. A winze was sunk on the quartz, and a level driven at a depth of 
67 ft. from the brace. This proved the ore-body to have a length of about 160 ft. 
with a tliickness of perhaps 18 in. The ore, however, was very broken, and coidd not 



U2 

be found in a low level driven from the north, 170 ft. below the outcrop. Another adit 
at about the same height above sea-level was driven from the south side of the ridge 
to explore a small outcrop there exposed 350 ft. south of the main ore-body. 

Specimen Hill Mine. — As before stated, the hillside on which this claim is situated 
was strewn with boulders of quartz often richly auriferous. A great deal of money was 
spent in prospecting both on the surface and by adits, and the company also contributed 
to the cost of the Specimen Hill low level. Five adits were driven, three of which 
were projected to develop a known broken and erratic ore-body, while the other two 
were purely prospecting ventures. The greater part of the claim lies in the powerful 
fault-zone which also involves the deeper portions of the Welcome shoot. 

Pactolus Mine. — The Pactolus lode belongs to the same lode-series as the shattered 
shoot of the Specimen Hill Claim. Very little information is available concerning it, 
except that 108 tons yielded 498 oz. The ore-body was small and the country much 
shaken, nor could the vein be relocated after being lost. The Lady of the Lake (also 
known as the Southern Cross) and the Argus are claims on the same lode-series as the 
Pactolus, but farther south. Rich quartz has been found in leaders in both, but the 
claims have never passed the prospecting stage. The country is very shaken and wet, 
and is traversed by the fault that crushes the Reform shoot. 



Table showing the Yields from the Capleston Geoup of Mines. 



Year ended 



Specimen 
Hill. 



Tons. Oz 



Welcome-Hopeful.' 



Tons. Oz. Div. 



Fiery Cross. 



Tons. Oz. Div. 



Just-in-Time.' 



Tons. Oz. Div 



Imperial. 



Tons. Oz. 



Various Claims. 



Tons. 



Oz. Div. 



Mar. 31- 

1874 . 

1875 . 

1876 . 

1877 . 

1878 . 

1879 . 

1880 . 

1881 . 

1882 . 

1883 . 

1884 . 

1885 . 

1886 . 

1887 . 

1888 . 

1889 . 



1890 . . 

1891 . . 

1892 . . 

1893 . . 

1894 . . 

1895 . . 

1896 . . 

1897 .. 

1898 . . 

1899 . . 
Dec. 31— 

1901 . . 

1902 . . 

1903 . . 

1904 . . 

1905 . . 

1906 . . 



940 



298 



27 



319 



199 



37 



1,932 
2,771 
3,907 
5,975 

? 

i,ioo 

4,084 
4,953 
3,695 

? 
1,502 
2,097 
1,175 
1,005 

249 

144 

255 

17 



60 

240 
1,776 
1,611 

380 
46 

118 



488 
237 
594 
566 
559 
209 
,531 
429 
825 
? 

648 
752 
726 
759 

731 
319 
417 
55 
440 
177 
154 



33 

497 
1,195 
1,144 

297 
53 

301 



505 
388 
925 
667 

750 
500 
000 
500 
500 

750 



892 
,917 

884 
,267 J 

427 

,263 

? 

860 
373 

,108 
? 

532 
,227 
,264 
,983 



1,522 
1,722 
2,431 
150 
380 
688 
160 



,336 
.611 
796 
591t 
263 
263 
613 
859 
464 

sii 

? 

504 
212 
267 
495 

000 
302 
818 
299 
191 
326 
150 



£ 
1,800 
2,700 

2,400 



600 

3,000 
1,200 

6,600 

3,600 



3,225 
5,643 



312 
802 
361 
470 
,652 



938 
736 
345 



1,633 

1,177 
345 
746 

3,148 
828 

1,690 
784 
818 
314 



47 
,033 
,073 
463 



163 
2,600 
2,524 

397 



25 



26 



£ 
4,800 



4,200 



700 
700 



3,500 
2,100 



P 

98- 



811 



468 



Sout 
21 



109 
328 
270 



70 



107 

224 

149 

74 

50 



20 



34 



200 



A 

48 



act 

439§ 

62 



hern 
43 



one 
33 

rgus 
48 

one 
42 



rgus 
57 



olus 
1,000 



Cross 



Star 



Star 



* Includes yields from the Homeward Bound, 1893, and Boatman's tailings plant, 1894-96. 
t Includes yields from El Dorado, Boatman's Creek, and Walhalla claims. 
I Includes a yield of 168 oz. from 394 tons from the Alexandra. 
S Includes a yield of 3 oz. from 10 tons from Lady of the Lake. 



143 

Painkiller Group. 

History. 

In the early " seventies " Painkiller Creek and the numerous streams which unite to 
form Burke Creek were worked for their alluvial gold, and it was probably about the 
same time that auriferous lodes were discovered in the low hills bounding the lowlands. 
The first ground prospected was in Painkiller Creek, at the northern end of the area. 
Ten years later a company known as the Gladstone took up the same ground. A 
considerable amount of prospecting was done, but nothing worthy of extensive development 
was found, and the company became defunct in 1886. In 1889 another outcrop was 
found ; and a new company, the Sir Charles Russell, registered 16th October, 1890, took 
over a claim which included the new find and part of the Gladstone ground. A steam- 
driven 10-head mill (the old Supreme battery) was erected in 1893 on the left bank of 
the Waitahu, and connected with the low level by an aerial tram 36 chains in length. 
Owing to the erratic nature of the ore-bodies the claim did not pay, although the 
battery gave an extraction of 11 dwt. to the ton. The Dillon Gold-mining Company, 
registered 12th October, 1891, owned a claim adjoining the Russell on the south, and 
traversed by the same lode-channel. Prospecting operations, however, were no more 
successful here than in the adjoining claim. In 1896 the companies were merged into 
the Dillon Extended, and the low-level adit of the Sir Charles Russell was produced to 
explore the lode-channel in the Dillon ground. The ore-bodies exposed, however, were 
too small and erratic to permit of profitable extraction, and in 1899 all work ceased and 
the claims were abandoned. 

In 1906 a Reef ton syndicate took up the Ulster, a claim lying farther to the 
south. The lode in this claim had been discovered many years before by Alexander 
McCloy, and some work done on it with unsatisfactory results. In 1907 the owners, 
now known as the Phoenix Syndicate, erected a 5-head battery driven by oil-engine 
to crush the ore they had developed in their adit. On the 11th March, 1908, the New 
Ulster Quartz-mining Company was registered, and in subsequent years spent much 
money in prospecting for a payable ore-body. In this, so far, success has not yet 
been attained, the work accomplished going to show that the country and ore-lodes of 
this locality are greatly shaken. 

In 1912 another attempt was made to develop the original Gladstone property, 
now called the Pride of Reef ton. Results, however, were unsatisfactory, and work has 
since ceased. 

Workings. 

Russell-Dillon Mine. — The first adit in the Sir Charles Russell had its entrance 
on the south side of the knoll on which Trigonometrical Station B I is situated. There 
was a crosscut of 50 ft. before the ore, which was up to 2 ft. in thickness and very 
bunchy and irregular, was struck. This adit followed the lode 190 ft., and from it 
a winze, following ore of a similar nature, was sunk to a depth of 85 ft. The main 
low-level adit, 170 ft. below the upper, started from the northern flank of the 
same knoll. The crosscut to the lode was nearly 700 ft. in length, and the drift 
was extended along the lode-channel until it attained a length of more than 1,600 ft., 
of which about 400 ft. was in the Dillon Claim. Connection with the upper drift was 
made, and also with a winze, which carried ore for the first 50 ft., and wliich was smik 
by the original Dillon Company 7 ft. from their northern boundary. An intermediate 
level was also driven 96 ft. below the upper adit. These workings, of which no plan 
is available, proved the lode to have a north-north-west strike, and a steep dip to the 
westward. 



144 

Ulster Mine. — ^The main adit of the Ulster is about 1,200 ft. long, and of this 
distance nearly 1,100 ft. is along the ore-channel, which has a strike of about 15° 
east of north. An adit about 30 ft. above this has also been driven, and is over 
300 ft. in length. These workings developed several blocks of ore which, although 
of fair grade, were too small to recompense the company for the money expended. 
Throughout the country was wet and shaken. 

The lodes and the country throughout this group all show unmistakable signs 
of having been greatly disturbed, a statement which also applies to the Tertiary strata 
in the vicinity. The group of lodes occurs just at the edge of the Reefton hills, 
and must be close to one of the powerful peripheral faults of the Inangahua rift- 
valley. Hence the writer considers the chance of large ore-bodies ever being found 
in this locality very remote. 

Another lode-series lies about 25 chains to the eastward of the Gladstone Mine, 
and a cross-section of it is well exposed in the sharp bend of the Waitahu, on the 
north bank of the river. In the early " eighties " a claim, the Colorado, was pegged 
out to cover this ground, and some prospecting was done. At the time of the writer's 
visit some further work was being carried out by Mr. E. Lockington. The lodes 
here strike about 10° west of north, and dip west, while the country is unaffected by 
faulting. 

The yields from the mines of the Painkiller group of mines will be found in the 
table on page 133. 

Ajax Group. 
History. 

The Ajax group of metalliferous lodes occurs in the massive block of Palaeozoic 
rocks lying northward of Murray Creek and between the Inangahua and Waitahu 
rivers. It was in this locality that the earliest discoveries of auriferous quartz in 
the Reefton district were made. To James Kelly must be ascribed the credit of 
prospecting the first gold-bearing lode, this being one of the shoots in a claim later, 
and usually, known as the Golden Treasure. Immediately afterwards Fred West- 
field discovered the Victoria shoot, carried by the same lode-series. In October of 
the same year (1870) Anderson's lode was found, and in November the Ajax shoot. 

Two crushing plants for the treatment of the gold-bearing conglomerate of Murray 
Creek had already been erected, and in 1871 the first quartz was crushed. This 
consisted of a small parcel of about 80 tons* from Westfield's claim, and the yield 
of gold was considered very disappointing. Machines more suitable for the reduction 
of quartz ore were installed by 1872, and highly profitable returns were obtained by 
the Ajax, Golden Fleece, and Anderson's claims in the following year. Of these the 
last had a very short life, the shoot being lost at a shallow depth ; but the two 
former, which adjoin, and worked shoots on the same lode-channel, were successful 
for several years. In 1879 they amalgamated, and the new company was the first 
to introduce rock-borers and the diamond drill on the Reefton field. This was in 
1881, but the enterprise of the directors was ill rewarded, for poor returns were obtained 
till 1885, when the company went into liquidation. 

The companies operating on the first-discovered lode-chaimel were not nearly so 
successful, though the Phoenix gave excellent returns during 1874-75, and an adjoining 
claim (the Inglewood) did well during 1884r-86. At the southern end of the lode- 
series the Golden Treasure has hitherto proved the best shoot, and the excellent results 
achieved on this claim during 1879-82 led to a revival of mining in this locality. 

* Personal communication from Mr. Thomas Watson, of Grushington. 



145 

Since that date, although much money has been expended here, nothing of importance 
has been discovered. In 1907 the claims at the southern end of the lode-channel 
Were acquired by a Wellington syndicate, which later also purchased those at the 
northern end, the whole now being owned by the Murray Creek Mines Company. 

The Venus lode lies some distance to the westward and parallel with the shoots 
worked in the Ajax and associated claims. This shoot appears to have been dis- 
covered in 1875, and dividends were paid in 1878, but the most successful years of this 
claim were from 1885 to 1890. 

In 1880 an enterprise which had been projected for some time, that of driving 
a tunnel from Black's Point to the Waitahu River valley, was started. It was 
intended to tap all the mines of the Ajax Hill at a point many hundreds of feet 
below any of the then-existing workings. Progress for a long time was rather slow, as 
the finances of the company did not permit of the use of rock-borers, but by 1888 
a distance of 2,880 ft. had been driven for a cost of £8,073, of which the Govern- 
ment had contributed £3,246. At this time most of the mines the project was 
designed to benefit were defunct or had very poor prospects, and for several years 
from this date the face made little advance. In 1894 the Venus and the Inangahua 
Low-level Tunnel companies amalgamated, and next year the property was acquired 
by Mr. David Ziman, who afterwards transferred it to the Consolidated Goldfields of 
New Zealand. This corporation installed an air-compressing plant, and commenced 
driving on the 17th September, 1896. In 1899, at a distance of about 6,000 ft. 
from the portal, the rising of a shaft to connect with the Ajax workings was begun, 
a work completed in the following year. From this date the ore-shoots developed 
along the Ajax lode-channel were vigorously attacked till 1911, when all work ceased. 
It is a matter for regret that the main adit was not produced a farther distance 
of 20 chains to Kelly's lode-series, where it would command unworked groimd on 
all the lodes. 

Workings. 

Inglewood-Phoenix-Victoria Mine. — These claims and the North Star, the ground 
of which is also included, were originally worked as separate properties, though it is 
probable that the ore extracted all came from shoots on the same lode-channel. 
As already stated, the Victoria was one of the first claims in the district to be 
prospected. Ore was shortly afterwards fomid in the Inglewood, of which the first 
crushing was in October, 1872 ; the Phoenix followed in October, 1874, and the North 
Star in the succeeding year. It should be noted that these mines, imtil 1883, when 
the Inglewood and Phoenix companies erected a 10-head steam-driven battery near 
the mouth of their low level, had all their ore crushed at the Westland battery in 
Murray Creek. 

The ore-bodies developed by the North Star, Inglewood, and Phoenix companies 
are undoubtedly on a single lode-channel, and in the upper working this is apparently 
distinct from that in which the Victoria shoot lies. Of these the Inglewood block 
seems to have been discovered before the others ; but the Phoenix ore-body, opposite 
on the south side of the creek, was the first to give rich returns. In 1879 the 
Inglewood Company absorbed the North Star, and the Phoenix ten years later. 
Operations were not very profitable, and in 1891 the mine was let to tributers, 
who were very successful for three years. No work seems to have been done from 
1897 to 1901, during which latter year the claims, together with the Victoria, were 
acquired by Mr. P. N. Kingswell, who added a cyanide plant to the mill and took 
out the Phoenix block for 100 ft. below the low level ; the tributers of the old 
company had already worked the Inglewood block to a like depth. No. 4 adit 
was extended to command the Victoria ore-body, but the developments in this quarter 

10— Beefton. 



146 

were not very satisfactory. The property was acquired by a Reefton syndicate in 1908, 
and in 1910 purchased by the Wellington Mines, a company whicli merged into the 
Murray Creek Mines in 1911. This company energetically developed the property with 
gratifying results, a rich shoot of ore being found in the Victoria Claim. This ore-body, 
however, was proved to be lying along the western boundary of the claim, and it was 
only after long negotiations with the Consolidated Goldfields of New Zealand, which held 
the adjoining ground, that the mining rights over the area to the westward could be 
acquired. 

The upper portion of the Phoenix and Inglewood blocks were exploited by short 
adits driven on opposite sides of the headwaters of Inglewood Creek. No. 3 Inglewood 
adit, better known as the United Inglewood and North Star adit, from the fact that it 
was driven after the amalgamation of those companies, opens to the Waitahu fall. The 
adit called No. 4 Inglewood on the plan was originally driven by the Phoenix Company, 
and was afterwards, in 1903, extended by Mr. P. N. Kingswell beneath the old Victoria 
workings, of which No. 3 adit Victoria is about 40 ft. higher. The other adits by 
which the Victoria ore-body was developed are respectively 120 ft. and 190 ft. above 
No. 3, and were driven during 1871-78, the first period of activity of this claim. 
Some of them were reopened and extended by Knight and party, who held the mine on 
tribute during 1891-96. This party also drove an adit at a higher level than No. 1 
Victoria, exposing a block of ore 2 ft. in thickness. No. 5 adit, or the Inglewood low 
level, 221 ft. below No. 4 adit, was driven in 1887-88 conjointly by the Phoenix and 
Inglewood companies, the latter of which had been reconstructed in 1885, and was 
afterwards, in 1913, extended to the Victoria section by the Murray Creek Mines. The 
last-mentioned company also sank a shaft, the brace of which is close to the portal of, 
and practically on the same level as. No. 4 adit. Levels leave this shaft at depths 
of 220 ft. (connecting with No. 5 adit), 400 ft. (shown as No. 6 on the plan), 
and 520 ft. 

These workings establish that the Inglewood and Phoenix ore-bodies are on the same 
fissure, which has a strike of about 50° east of north, with a dip to the north-west of 
about 45°. These shoots are unique in the Reefton district in that their pitch is 
practically vertical. The Inglewood and Phoenix ore-bodies have each been worked to a 
vertical depth of about 500 ft. below their outcrops. The former has a length of about 
200 ft. with a width of from 1 ft. to 7 ft., with an average of from 3 ft. to 4 ft. A 
s3Cond vein of similar size lies parallel with the Inglewood block, with from 6 ft. to 8 ft. 
of country between. In the lowest workings on this ore-body — -that is, in the inter- 
mediate level, 91 ft. below No. 5 adit — ^the stone is reported to be bunchy and irregular. 
The Phoenix block has a length of 120 ft., and an average width of 3 ft. Ore is 
reported to have been left underfoot in the intermediate 100 ft. below No. 5 adit, which 
constitutes the lowest workings on this shoot. No. 6 Inglewood, however, failed to 
develop any ore-body in this portion of the mine, the drift being produced along a 
fissure filled with comminuted greywacke and diabase. It should be noted that a dyke 
of this igneous rock up to 50 ft. in width forms the usual hanging-wall of these ore- 
bodies, the parallel lode of the Inglewood section being contained within this rock. 

The upper levels of the Victoria disclosed an ore-body over 200 ft. in length and up 
to 6 ft. in thickness, with a strike of about 18° east of north, a westerly dip of about 55°, 
and a strong pitch to the north. Nos. 5 and 6 Inglewood levels have proved that 
the Victoria shoot extends much farther to the northward than was formerly supposed, 
being at least 450 ft. long. It is probable that the Phoenix, Inglewood, and North Star 
blocks are fragments displaced from the main shoot by fault-movements. This is 
supported by the non-appearance of these ore-bodies in No. 6 level, and by the fact 
that two of them have a vertical pitch, that of the North Star being unknown. The 
known facts would be explained if an east-north-east-striking normal fault with an angle 



147 

of dip less than that of the pitch of the shoot had cut off its upper part, and in the 
displacement so warped the hanging-wall and the ore-bodies contained in it as to produce 
their altered strike and pitch. Such a fault would be parallel with the known fractures 
of the Black's Point zone. 

Golden Treasure - Band of Hope Mine. — This property also includes the Westland, 
Golden Hill, and Comstock claims. The lodes of this locality furnished some of the 
first ore crushed in the Keefton district, the Westland having a crushing in July, 1872, 
the Band of Hope in October, and the Golden Hill in November of the same year. 
The yields, however, were not profitable, and mining languished until 1879, when some 
very good returns were obtained by the Golden Treasure. This company, which seems 
to have been formed in 1875, owned among other claims that on which James Kelly 
had made his original discovery of auriferous quartz, and acquired the Band of Hope 
Claim in 1877. For several years dividends were paid ; and in 1883 its battery, built 
by the Westland Company in 1872 as a Customs plant, was remodelled in the hope of 
improving the extraction from the refractory antimonial ore yielded by the mine. In 
1886 all work ceased, and the property was purchased in 1889 by a syndicate of which 
Mr. J. B. Beeche acted as manager. The Band of Hope low-level adit was cleaned out, 
and some fair ore extracted, but operations as a whole were unsuccessful, and work 
ceased in 1892. In 1893 the mine was let on tribute, and a little desultory mining 
took place over a period of several years. In 1898 some of the workings were reopened 
by the Anglo-Continental Company, but nothing of value was discovered ; and in 1901 
the property had evidently passed to the Consolidated Goldfields, since in that year it 
is reported that the winding-engine had been removed to the Energetic shaft, while the 
battery, which was steam-driven and consisted of fifteen stampers, was dismantled. The 
olaim was surrendered in 1906 ; and later was acquired by the Wellington Mines, which 
company did a little unsuccessful prospecting before becoming merged in the Murray 
Creek Mines. 

The principal workings consist of adits, for many of which the plans are either 
incomplete or non-existent. In the Golden Treasure section the low-level adit led to 
the main workings, and explored the lode-channel for many hundreds of feet. From it 
a winze, also used as a winding-shaft, led to several intermediate levels, by which the 
ore-shoot was stoped out. The shaft, the collar of which is 50 ft. above the mouth of 
the main adit, is 308 ft. deep and 9| ft. by 4 ft. in the clear. In the Band of Hope 
section two adits, 190 ft. apart vertically, of which the lower was 170 ft. below the shaft- 
3ollar, were driven to the ore-shoot, and connected by a winze from which various 
intermediates were projected. Another winze was sunk from the lower drift, and a 
level driven from it at a depth of 150 ft. The plans available do not show these at 
all adequately. 

The workings proved the existence of at least four ore-bodies in the claim. The 
most northerly (or Westland) block was worked in 1875-76 with poor results. Its width 
is reported at 4 ft., but there appears to be no record of its length. South of this is 
what is known as the Golden Treasure north block, which yielded very rich returns, 
and seems to have been from 2 ft. to 5 ft. wide and over 100 ft. long. The shaft level 
was extended north in the hope of picking up this and the antimony block, but failed 
to do so ; and, indeed, no ore ' of any kind was found in this level. Still farther south 
occurs another block, which was at least 180 ft. long with an average thickness of 5 ft. 
This is generally known as the antimony block, because of the large quantity of stibnitc 
contained in its ore. It should be noted, however, that this mineral is very prominent 
in the quartz from all the ore-bodies of this locality. The Golden Treasure main adit 
opened two parallel ore-bodies about 50 ft. apart, of which the western is the antimony 
block and the eastern the north block, the two ore-bodies thus overlapping. The Band 
of Hope block is large, being at least 200 ft. long, with an average width of 6 ft., while 

10*— Reefton. 



148 

it has been followed to a depth of more than 400 ft. Although it contains some rich 
ore, yet as a whole it is of low grade, yielding no more than 4 dwt. per ton by 
amalgamation. 

Perseverance Mine. — Another ore-body, lying to the westward of the Band of Hope 
shoot, may also be considered here. This is the Perseverance, on which the first work 
seems to have been done in 1876. Several small crushings of low-grade ore are 
recorded from this mine, but in 1880 it appears to have been abandoned. A few 
years ago the property was taken up by the Consolidated Goldfields. A considerable 
amount of development was undertaken, and to facilitate this compressed air was 
piped from the Energetic power plant. These operations proved the existence of an 
ore-body 200 ft. in length and 3 ft. in thickness, of moderate tenor. The plan shows 
only the upper adit ; a second, driven at a lower level, is of much greater length. 

This locality is on the border of an area of intense faulting, and in consequence 
the ore-bodies are often displaced. In addition to the subsidiary faults of the Murray 
Creek zone just mentioned, other fractures belonging to the Black's Point zone compli- 
cate matters. In the absence of sufficient positive data, such as could have been 
obtained by an inspection of the underground workings when these were open, the 
writer can offer no suggestion as to the position of the displaced portions of the north 
and antimony blocks of the Golden Treasure Claim, but the recovery of these valuable 
ore-shoots should not be a matter of great difficulty. It may be stated that if the 
lode-channel along which the shoots of Kelly's lode-series lie maintains its dip, a 
continuation of Black's Point low-level adit ought to cut it at a point about 500 ft. 
below the Golden Treasure shaft-bottom after 1,000 ft. of driving. 

Golden Fleece - Ajax - Royal Mine. — These properties occur along the same lode- 
channel, and, although at first controlled by separate companies, were in later years 
worked together. This series of lodes is named after Richard Shiel, but it was Shiel's 
mate, George Walshe, who was the actual discoverer of the Ajax shoot. This was 
in November, 1870 ; and shortly afterwards the next shoot to the northward, the 
Golden Fleece, was prospected by Patrick Hunt. In those roadless days incredible 
difficulties of transport had to be overcome by the Ajax Company before a steam- 
driven 15-head null was placed on the ground. It was necessary to barge the boiler 
and heavy machinery up the Buller and Inangahua rivers as far as Landing Creek, 
thence by horse-traction along the river-bed to Black's Point, and thence up the hill 
through the bush by block and tackle. The results obtained justified the hopes of the 
shareholders, and within a few years £55,000 had been distributed in dividends by 
the Ajax and Golden Fleece companies. The Grolden Fleece was the more successful, 
and when the companies amalgamated in 1879 the new company was called the 
Golden Fleece Extended. In 1881 the then managing director, the late Mr. John 
Trennery, after a visit to the Victorian lode - mines, purchased rock-borers and a 
diamond drill for the company. Unfortunately, however, the ore-body that had 
yielded so handsomely was now exhausted, and all efforts to trace its continuation 
failed ; and the claim, after being let on tribute for a number of years, fell into the 
hands of Mr. Frank Hamilton, from whom it was purchased in 1895 by Mr. Ziman. 

To the southward on the same fissure another ore-shoot, usually known as the Eoyal, 
was first developed by the Victory Company in 1878.' The ground was afterwards 
owned by the Result and Royal companies, but the ore won was in no case able 
to pay the expenses of extraction. This mine was also acquired by Mr. Ziman, who 
transferred it, together with the Golden Fleece and other claims, to the Consohdated 
Goldfields of New Zealand. This company developed the ore-bodies, built a 20-stamp 
steam-driven mill at Black's Point, and vigorously exploited the property for many 
years. The enterprise, however, was not profitable ; in 1908 the mine was let on 
tribute, and all work ceased in 1912. 



149 



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160 

Another ore-body lying to the westward of those just mentioned, but probably 
genetically related to them, may also be here considered. This is the Venus, which 
seems to have been first prospected in 1875. For the first few years work on this 
claim was intermittent ; but in 1885 a large block was discovered, a new company — 
the Venus Extended — was formed, the Energetic battery was purchased, and develop- 
ment was vigorously prosecuted. For a few years profitable returns were obtained, but 
in No. 4 level the ore-body was fomid to be much broken. In 1893 an amalgamation 
took place with the Inangahua Low-level Company, it being proposed to work the 
ore-shoot from that company's adit. About this time, however, the Consolidated 
Goldfields acquired the mining rights, and all their energies were engaged in the develop- 
ment of the Ajax and Royal ore-shoots ; and up to the present no effort has been 
made to develop the Venus ore-body or discover its relations. 

Shiel's lode-series has been opened up very extensively. A shaft 6| ft. by 4 ft. 
in the clear, the Golden Fleece or Ajax shaft, rdtimately attained a depth of more 
than 700 ft., and from it five levels* were driven north and south to open up the 
shoots. The Royal Company or its forerunners also drove four adits to the blocks 
of ore lying in the southern portion of the fissure. The deeper levels were developed 
by a vertical shaft, of which the brace was 495 ft. above the Inangahua low-level 
adit, which joined it at No. 10 level. This shaft attained a depth of 500 ft. below 
the adit to No. 14 level, from which an incline shaft was smik 115 ft. to No. 15, 
the lowest level in the mine. 

These lower workings proved the existence of two ore-shoots, known as the north 
and south blocks. These were directly connected with the ore-bodies worked respec- 
tively by the Ajax and Royal companies. In the upper levels a third and much more 
profitable ore-body, lying farther to the north, was worked with great profit by the 
Golden Fleece Company. This was followed down to No. 5 level, where the lode 
became broken up, and, according to H. A. Gordon,| was displaced by a fault north 
of which it could not be traced. It is probable that three rather ill-defuied ore-shoots 
were worked in the upper levels, and of these the northern was cut off by a fault 
of which the angle of dip is slightly steeper than the pitch of the shoots. It is certain 
that in the upper levels a length of more than 1,000 ft. of lode-channel was ore- 
bearing, a length which in the workings below No. 6 level was reduced to about 
700 ft. The disturbance of the north block in No. 15 level may be ascribed to the 
same fracture, which at this depth reaches the middle or Ajax shoot of the upper 
workings or the north shoot of the lower for the first time. The northern ends of 
Nos. 12, 13, and 14 levels turn rather abruptly to the eastward, following in each 
case a pronounced fissure. The fault probably belongs to the Black's Point zone, and 
has an east-north-east strike and a northward dip. According to Gordon the shoot 
of the Golden Fleece was faulted to the westward, but if the above-mentioned supposi- 
tions are correct and the fault has no lateral shift the lost portion of the lode may 
be expected to lie to the eastward. 

Venus Mine. — The Venus ore-body was attacked by adits, of which the plans 
available are by no means complete. Four adits were driven, No. 2 being 168 ft. 
below No. 1, and No. 3 175 ft. below No. 2. The ore from No. 1 adit was treated 
at the Golden Fleece (or Ajax) mill ; but in 1885, the year in which the lode was struck 
in No. 2 adit, the company purchased the Energetic battery and erected an aerial 
tramway to connect it mth their underground workings. 

* No. 6 level was driven by the Consolidated Goldfields in 1898, and the shaft was deepened to it in 1907, 
many years after the extraction of the ore in the level, 
t Mines Rep., C.-3, 1896, p. 96. 



151 

The ore-body in the two upper adits proved to be from 300 ft. to 350 ft. in length, 
with an average thickness of 2 ft. The length was less in No. 3, and in No. 4 the 
reef was so broken up as to be unprofitable. It is evident that the Venus shoot was 
cut off by a fault, and, as the main faults of this locality are imdoubtedly those of 
the Black's Point zone, east-north-east faulting is indicated. The upper portion of 
the Royal ore-shoot, where faulting is undoubtedly present, lies exactly in the line 
that such a fault would take, and it is suggested that the Venus ore-body is actually 
part of the Royal shoot displaced to the westward. In the low-level adit " good 
reefuig " — ^that is, crushed — country made its appearance 50 chains from daylight, at 
least 10 chains before the lode country of the Venus was to be expected, and this 
crushed country continued nearly to the sharp bend in the adit leading to the Golden 
Fleece shaft. At the time of the writer's visit the low level was closed, so that the 
orientation of the movement-planes in this crushed zone could not be ascertained ; 
and since no attempt was ever made to prospect for the Venus ore-body from this 
point, nothing can be learned from the plans concerning this matter. It is suggested 
that the crushed rock, penetrated for over 20 chains by the adit, was the fracture- 
filling of the fault that displaced the Venus ore-body. The fault, to explain the above 
facts, must have an east-north-east strike with a northward dip of about 75°. It 
should be stated that the outcrops in both the upper and lower valley of Murray 
Creek are chaotic, and indicate faulting the direction of which cannot be determined 
precisely. 

Anderson' s-Invincible Mine. — This property was one of the first to attain promi- 
nence in the Reefton district, paying, within a year of its beginning crushing, not only 
the cost of its battery, but also handsome diAadends. As already stated, ore was 
discovered in this locality by James Anderson in November, 1870, while Robert Craig 
was the prospector of the Invincible. A 15-head battery driven by water drawn from 
the Inangahua was erected at Black's Point, and crushing comnienced in December, 
1872, in the case of Anderson's, and in January of next year in that of the Invincible. 
Unfortunately the ore-body was quickly worked out, and, all attempts to trace it in 
depth having failed, the company collapsed in 1876. Two years later another attempt 
to develop the claim was made ; and till 1884 desultory prospecting proceeded, especially 
toward the northern end of the lode-channel in Anderson Creek, where a company 
named the Brutus prospected for some time without result. In the late "nineties " the 
Consolidated Goldfields projected a drive northward from the low level for nearly 
20 chains, but failed to find any trace of lode-material. Again, a few years ago 
Willis and party commenced an adit from the road-level to explore the gromid at 
a still greater depth. This undertaking was later taken over by the Consolidated 
Goldfields, and the adit extended to the required length. Some lode-tracks containing 
broken quartz were cut and explored, but nothing of value was discovered. 

The old workings of Anderson's and the Invincible claims consist of three adits, 
which explored an ore-body 300 ft. in length with an average thickness of perhaps 
3 ft. According to information supplied by miners who worked in the claiin, the 
lode was decidedly broken, and terminated against a slickensided wall. The dip was 
to the eastward at a steep angle, but the lode flattened and actually turned upward 
near the point where the ore-shoot was cut off. It is evident that this ore-body 
has been shattered and displaced by a fault ; and since the powerful Black's Point 
fault is only a few chains away it may be assumed that one of its subsidiary fractures 
is here concerned. The strike of the ore-body is about 42° east of north, while that 
of the Golden Fleece lode is about 28° cast of north, and this difference in orientation 
may be ascribed to the influence of the fault. In driving the low level (Golden Fleece) 
a gold-bearing leader was cut about 200 ft. from the portal, and this may well be 



152 

the southern continuation of Anderson's lode-channel, and with it must also be 
considered the lode-traces explored from Willis's adit. Perhaps the tracks in the 
Mars Claim on the south bank of the Inangahua, prospected in 1894, may also 
belong here. 

Although the dip of the ore-body is south-eastward, all the ore-shoots in its 
vicinity dip westward, and in all probabihty it is a fragment of a westerly dipping 
shoot. The close proximity of the broad belt of crushed country forming the Black's 
Point fault, and the practical certainty that both fault and ore-shoot dip westward, 
make the chances of discovery of a payable ore-body remote. 

Crushington G-roup. 
History. 

The history of this group of lodes dates from late in 1870, when Adam Smith 
found ore in a claim that appropriately received the name of "Wealth of Nations. 
Another claim, the Energetic, adjoining it on the north, was soon afterwards found, 
and by March, 1872, had begun crushing at a 10-head water-driven mill.* The 
Wealth of Nations' first crushing was in January 1873. Both claims were highly 
remunerative, and although their ore was of a decidedly lower grade than that of 
most of the other mines at work at this period they quickly paid the cost of their 
batteries, and for several years distributed handsome dividends. Their success stimu- 
lated prospecting in the numerous claims in the vicinity, of which the most note- 
worthy were the Dauntless, Macedonian, Independent, Heather Bell, Vulcan, Golden 
Ledge, and Keep-it-Dark. The Dauntless (later the Undaunted) struggled on for 
many years ; the Macedonian was absorbed by the Energetic ; and a like fate befell 
the Independent, Vulcan, and Heather Bell, which were merged with the Wealth of 
Nations in 1879. The Keep-it-Dark, which now holds the Golden Ledge ground, was 
very successful. This company, registered on the 2nd March, 1874, held a claim that 
had been prospected without success at an even earlier date. The first crushing was 
in 1875, and the claim has been one of the most consistently profitable in the 
Reef ton district. An adjoining claim, the Hercules, started crushing at about the 
same time, but although it was worked until 1899 its career was inglorious. Other 
claims in this locahty — 'the No. 2 South Keep-it-Dark, the South Wealth of Nations, 
and the Pandora — ^were also unsuccessful, and require no further mention here. 

The northern claims of this group exhausted the fine ore-bodies of their upper levels 
in the early " eighties," and were unable to pick them up in depth. The Energetic 
was let on tribute for a number of years, but was finally abandoned. The Wealth 
of Nations had from the very beginning stacked its tailings; and from the retreatment 
of these obtained sufficient gold to maintain, with the help of occasional calls, its 
prospecting operations for sixteen years, when at last the downward extension of its 
shoots was found. Later this claim, together with the Energetic, passed into the 
possession of the ConsoHdated Goldfields of New Zealand, and is still being worked 
with great profit.f At present the deepest workings in the Dominion are in the 
Energetic section of this mine, where the Wealth of Nations shoots are being attacked 
at a depth of 1,900 ft. from the surface and 730 ft. below sea-level. 

Workings. 
Energetic - Wealth of Nations Mine. — The writer was unable to obtain any plans 
of the old Energetic workings, or of those undertaken by the tributers who from 



* Th.is mill was later increased to 25-liead, and steam superseded the inadequate water-supply of Murray 
Ci'eek. 

f In the table on p. 157 no dividends are credited to the Wealth of Nations for the reason that the 
Consolidated Goldfields holds a large interest in the Progress Mines, profits from which have paid part of 
the dividends of the parent company. 




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153 

1887 to 1893 successfully worked the claim under tlie style of tlie Energy Company. 
All that is known is that several [adits were driven, and a shaft 9 ft. by 4 ft. in the 
clear was sunk to a depth of 360 ft. The ore-bodies were large, but about 300 ft. 
below the outcrop the lode became broken up and could not be traced downward. 
The Dauntless Company immediately to the north did a great deal of surface pro- 
specting, and drove several adits on small ore-bodies without developing anything of a 
payable nature. 

In the Wealth of Nations section of this propeii;y four adits were driven in the 
early days in addition to the Independent low level and the Vulcan " tunnel." Ore 
was carried down to a depth of about 300 ft. below the outcrop by these workings, 
but at this point the lode became broken up and unpayable. The fissure, filled with 
a mixture of ore and "mullock," was followed downward for over 500ft. before a 
commercially valuable block was again found. The downward continuation of the 
ore-shoot was discovered in 1893, and the mine was purchased by Mr. Ziman in 
1895. The Consolidated Goldfields, to which the property was later transferred, sank 
the incline shaft started by the old company to a depth of 800 ft. below the main 
adit. The old Energetic shaft, reopened and enlarged in 1901, has since attained 
a depth of 2,300 ft., and fi'om it all the ore produced by the mine is now drawn. 

From an examination of the plan of the workings below the main adit it is 
clear that three ore-shoots occur in this portion of the property, and a plan of 
No. 7 level indicates their relations to each other.* They have a nearly vertical dip 
and strong northerly pitch. The east shoot was discovered in 1904 by a diamond- 
drill bore from No. 7 level, and has been traced upward to No. 6 level, where it is 
broken up and shattered, evidently by the same fault-belt that caused the 550 ft. 
blank between the ore-bodies of the old adit workings and those of the lower levels. 
These latter first appeared in the 350 ft. level of the incline shaft, where, it may be 
stated, the blocks of ore occurred in most erratic attitudes, some even lying flat. The 
writer's data are too scanty to enable the course and nature of the fault to be 
defiinitely stated, but the facts are most readily explained on the supposition that 
it strikes east-north-east and has a downthrow to the north. 

The most reasonable explanation of the disappearance of the Energetic ore-bodies 
in depth is that they were displaced by a fault, a suggestion supported by the fact 
that the lowest block worked was horizontally disposed. In 1913 a prospecting 
crosscut from No. 9 level intercepted an ore-body westward of any hitherto worked. 
This was later also cut in Nos. 7 and 8 levels, and is almost certainly the displaced 
portion of the Energetic shoot. If such be the case the movement was probably 
caused by an east-and-west fracture with a steep northerly dip. Perhaps also the 
shattering of the most noi'therly of the Wealth of Nations shoots noted in No. 11 
level is due to this fault, which will then be analogous with that described in the 
preceding paragraph, which likewise shifted the Wealth of Nations shoots to the 
westward. 

Keep-it-Dark Mine.- — Ore fi'om this mine was first crushed in 1875 at the 15-head 
mill built in the preceding year by the Inangahua Public Crushing Company. This 
plant was later acquired by the Keep-it-Dark Company, which increased its capacity 
to 20 heads, and in 1899 added a cyanide plant. Before this date the whole of the 
tailings from this mine were discharged into the Inangahua without retieatment. 
Since the erection of cyanide and concentration plants at this mine from 60 to 70 
per cent, of the gold has been saved by the ordinary process of amalgamation. The 
battery practice was certainly no better in the old days than at present; and it may 
be assumed that from this mine alone till 1896, when the tailings were stacked for 
retreatment, something in the neighbourhood of £120,000 of recoverable gold was 

* See p. 112, 



154 

lost by reason of the company neglecting to stack the tailings fronj its mill. In 
spite of this waste the mine has been conspicuously successful, few years being 
without dividends until 1909, since which date none has been paid. " After thirty- 
seven years of profitable work, and the payment of 184 dividends amounting to 
£158,666 13s. 4d. on a paid-up capital of £8,708 6s. 8d., the shareholders of the 
company (the Keep-it-Dark Quartz-mining Company, Limited) agreed to go into 
liquidation and reconstruct the company under the name of the Keep-it-Dark Mines 
(Limited)." * The new company was registered on the 8th Febmary, 1911, and 
since that date has actively worked its claim, but so far without the reward of 
dividends. 

Two lode-channels ti-averse the claim, and until 1898 only the ore-bodies on the 
eastern were worked. These outcropped on the hillside at a height of 180 ft. above 
the collar of the shaft, and were at first worked by means of adits by the Keep-it- 
Dark and Grolden Ledge companies. The workings on this fissure are vei-y imperfectly 
shown on the plans, but were reached by levels projected from the shaft at depths 
of 152 ft., 312 ft., and 473 ft. At the northern end of the No. 3 level, at a distance 
of 522 ft. from the shaft, a blind or " monkey " shaft was sunk, which ultimately 
attained a depth of 491 ft. below No. 3 level. Four levels were driven from it to 
develop the ore-bodies at depths of 120 ft., 245 ft., 370 ft., and 480 ft. below the brace. 
Since 1898, when the western lode was found, the energies of the company have been 
directed to its exploitation. The existing levels from the main shaft were driven 
to it, the shaft itself deepened, and other levels constructed — No. 4 at 624 ft., No. 5 
at 773 ft., No. 6 at 923 ft., No. 7 at 1,024 ft., No. 8 at 1,145 ft., and No. 9 at 
1,345 ft. respectively from the shaft-collar. 

Although the workings described are quite extensive, most of the levels are now 
closed, and the writer could learn little concerning the structure of the ore-bodies. 
The eastern shoot, from which the ore that yielded the earlier dividends was taken, 
was probably shattered by faulting. Thus the Wardens and Inspectors of Mines 
mention the occurrence of numerous blocks, that known as the north block containing 
the richest ore. Below No. 3 level this shoot was difficult to trace, disconnected 
blocks — ^that is, fragments of the shoot — being found in miexpected positions, and lying 
in all sorts of attitudes, and with all sorts of orientations. The search for these 
blocks was conducted in a haphazard manner, and was very costly. In 1898 the 
western shoot was struck ; and no more work was done in the direction of proving the 
eastern shoot imtil 1909, when a drive was extended from No. 7 of the main shaft 
northward beneath the workings of the blind shaft, with which connection was made. 
A small amount of prospecting was carried out, but nothing of value was disclosed. 
The north block was evidently of considerable size, and there are records of thick- 
ness ranging from 8 ft. to 29 ft., and one report speaks of a block 350 ft. in length 
and 8 ft. wide. 

The western shoot was fairly regular in the upper levels, being in two blocks 
in No. 2 level, respectively 185 ft. and 50 ft. long, and averaging 9 ft. in width ; in 
No. 3 these dimensions were 220 ft. and 40 ft., with a width of 7 ft.; in No. 4 
" mullock intrusions " were numerous ; and in No. 5 the main ore-body was found 
to be out of its expected position ; No. 6 level furnished much ore, two blocks, 
the one 270 ft. by 6 ft. and the other 180 ft. by 5 ft., being developed ; in No. 7 the 
shoot was much disturbed, and a like condition obtains in Nos. 8 and 9 levels. In 
nearly every level large disconnected ore-bodies with an east-and-west strike and 
variable dips have been foimd, but the main blocks strike west of north, have a 
general westerly dip, and northerly pitch. 

* Bishop, T. 0. : Mines Rep., 1912, C.-2, p. 46. 



155 

It is evident that tlie western shoot has been affected by powerful fault-movements. 
The frequency of the east-and-west-striking blocks, were it not for their individual isola- 
tion, would suggest the presence of an ore-shoot with that original orientation. The 
more probable explanation, however, is that they are fragments of a north-and-south- 
striking ore-shoot that have been turned at right angles to their normal direction 
by an east-and-west fault. Possibly the same fault, but more probably one parallel 
to it, is responsible for the shattering of the eastern shoot, but the data available 
are so meagre that only a tentative opinion can be formed as to the structure of 
the ore-bodies. It is suggested that both shoots are contained in a relatively midis- 
turbed belt of country, bounded on the north and on the south by faults with an 
easterly trend probably belonging to the Black's Point zone. 

Hercules - No. 2 South Keep-it-Dark Mine. — The northern claim of this group was 
first worked in 1875 by a company named the Hercules, but two years later the ground 
seems to have belonged to the Nil Desperandum Company. This concern maintained 
a precarious existence until 1889, when it was acquired by a new company, also 
known as the Hercules, which struggled on until 1899. The southern claim, or group 
of claims — for three companies, the No. 2 South Keep-it-Dark, South Wealth of Nations, 
and Pandora, contributed to the sinking of the shaft — ^was even less proj&table. The 
No. 2 South Keep-it-Dark, formed in 1882, showed most vitality. The other two 
were registered in 1886, the Pandora commencing operations on an outcrop exposed 
in cutting the Keep-it-Dark water-race. The shaft was started in the year following, but 
as nothing was discovered the Pandora and South Wealth of Nations ceased work in 
1890, and were purchased by the No. 2 South Keep-it-Dark in the begmning of 1894. 
This company deepened the shaft to 472 ft., but after several years of unsuccessful 
effort ceased operations in 1899. The ore from these claims was crushed either at 
the Wealth of Nations or the Keep-it-Dark batteries, and both claims now belong to 
the latter company. 

The plans of the worldngs of this group of claims are by no means complete. 
The Hercules shaft was sunk 300 ft. from the mouth of No. 3 adit, and reached within 
46 ft. of sea-level at a depth of 735 ft. Six levels were driven from the shaft, Nos. 4 
to 9, at depths of 100 ft. (?), 200 ft. (?), 290 ft., 414 ft., 564 ft., and 713 ft. respectively. 
The No. 2 South Keep-it-Dark mam workings are approached by a shaft 472 ft. in 
depth, with levels projected from it at 178 ft., 278 ft., and 450 ft. respectively. No. 2 
level of this shaft was connected with No. 7 of the Hercules by a winze 260 ft. deep. 

The workings are all on the same lode-channel, the contmuation of which north- 
ward probably carries the eastern shoot of the Keep-it-Dark. Along the southern 
portion of this channel there have evidently been post-mineral movements, as the 
known ore-bodies, although all on a well-defined fissure, are crushed and discontinuous. 

The two most important ore-bodies developed were both traced downward as far as 
No. 8 level, Hercules. The southerly block was first found in the 278 ft. level of the 
No. 2 South Keep-it-Dark near the northerly boundary of that claim, and the pitch of 
the shoot soon carried it into the adjoining Hercules Claim. The writer has no reliable 
information regarding the length of this ore-body, and its thickness does not seem 
to have exceeded 5 ft. The second block was some 600 ft. to the northward, but, as 
an ore-body, was even less satisfactory than that just mentioned. Boulders and fragments 
of high-grade ore were found at numerous points between the two blocks, as well as 
along the fissure hundreds of feet south of the Pandora shaft. The No. 2 South Keep-it- 
Dark projected a crosscut westward from No. 3 level in search of the lode-channel on 
which is developed the western shoot of the Keep-it-Dark. This reached a point 
more than 500 ft. from the level, but although several tracks were cut nothing of 
value was discovered. 



156 

A table showing the yields from the Crushington group of mines will be found 
on page 157. 

Globe-Progeess Group. 
History. 

The great tabular mass of quartz of the Globe and Progress clainas was known 
for many years before it was worked. What is known as the dam block was uncovered 
by Eobert Wolf and party, who in the late " seventies " constructed a dam in Oriental 
Creek in connection with the water-race to their alluvial claim near Soldier's Township. 
The quartz was considered to be barren, or at least unpayable, an opinion strengthened 
by the very poor returns obtained by the Union Company of 1879, when 600 tons 
of ore yielded only 64 oz. of gold. This claim was prospected by the brothers Adams 
in 1876 ; in 1878 a 10-head mill was erected in Devil Creek, and this was sold to 
the Oriental Company in 1881. The Oriental Company had also been formed in 1876, 
but, although it energetically prospected its holding and discovered several large ore- 
bodies, its operations were not successful from a monetary point of view, and in 
1888 the claim and plant were sold. Gold-bearing stone was found on the Globe 
Claim in 1882, and a company to work it was registered on the 15th April, 1882. 
Large ore-bodies were uncovered, and a water-driven 20-head mill was erected on 
the left bank of the Inangahua. Connection with the mine was by means of an aerial 
tramway, and later haulage from the shaft was done by a wire rope led along the 
tramway-trestles from the power-station at the mill, 96 chains away. The ore for 
several years proved unpayable, and the company was on the verge of liquidation when, 
in September, 1886, a new outcrop was discovered on the claim 1,000 ft. to the 
westward of that being worked, and close to the Oriental boundary, across which the 
vein was afterwards traced on the surface. This was the turning-point in the 
history of the company, which worked the claim with steady success until bought 
out by Mr. D. Ziman in 1896. 

A few weeks before the new strike of ore in the Globe ground the company owning 
the adjoining Oriental Claim went into voluntary liquidation, and the property was 
sold to Mr. Gerald Perotti for the small sum of £320. That gentleman endeavoured 
to raise capital to prospect the claim, but met with poor success until the new find 
of the Globe was reported, after which he had no difficulty in floating a company 
named the Progress (registered November, 1886). Profitable ore was soon found, 
and henceforth until the mine was purchased by Mr. Ziman the company was successful. 

The Globe and Progress mines were taken over by the Consolidated Goldfields 
and, together with other areas in the neighbourhood, were floated into a subsidiary 
company under the style of the Progress Mines (Limited). Great sums were expended 
in developing the property and providing means of transport and a treatment plant. 
Thus a new shaft that is now 1,416 ft. in depth was started ; a 40-head battery, after- 
wards enlarged to 65 heads, built, and water-power brought to it from the Inangahua ; 
a roasting-furnace and cyanide plant erected ; and a new aerial tramway connecting mill 
and mine constructed. The battery began crushing in May, 1898, and, except during 
the labour strike of 1912, has been in continuous operation since. For many years 
the yield obtained was very profitable, enabling fair dividends to be paid even on 
the watered stock of the company. Below No. 8 level the lode entered a belt of 
country shaken by faults, and gradually became more and more disturbed until in 
No. 11 level it was abruptly terminated. All efforts to trace the continuation beyond 
this fracture have hitherto failed, and, although the mine contains ore reserves 
that will enable it to work for years, its future depends on the location of the lode 
beyond the fault-zone. 







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In addition to the claims just mentioned others in the vicinity received attention, 
the most important being the Argosy, Empress, and General Gordon. None of these 
claims was successful, although prospecting continued for several years. The Souvenir 
vein, discovered by Messrs. G. G. Wise and E. Shiel in 1879, also deserves mention 
in this place. 

Northward of the Progress group of claims a number of auriferous veins outcrop 
in Auld Creek. These seem to have been first prospected by Theodor Ranft and 
William Falla in the early " seventies," but nothing of value was then discovered. 
They again attracted attention in 1882, mainly on account of their antimony-content, 
but, although several of the claims were during this period found to contain auri- 
ferous lodes, the prospects were not considered sufficiently encouraging for the erection 
of a treatment plant. In 1908 another attempt was made to explore the lodes in 
this locahty. This met with partial success, but the owners were hampered by 
litigation and by the regulations restricting mining in the water-conservation reserve 
from which Reefton draws its domestic supply. 

Workings. 

The main workings of the original Globe Company were reached from a shaft 
825 ft. in depth, which was sunk to develop the block found in 1886, and is now 
known as the A shaft. The earliest workings were more to the eastward, near the 
terminal of the old aerial tram before the deviation to the A shaft was constructed, 
and in this neighbourhood an incline shaft known as the Ballarat (or C) shaft 
was sunk. All the workings below No. 6 level are reached by way of the new (or B) 
shaft sunk by the Progress Mines. The top of the A shaft is 1,691 ft. above sea- 
level, and the chambers of the various levels down to No. 6 are at points 125 ft.(?), 
250 ft. (?), 367 ft., 490 ft., 615 ft., and 816 ft. respectively below the shaft-collar. Of 
the levels from the B shaft. No. 4 and No. 6 connect also with those from the A shaft, 
while levels Nos. 7 to 11 are respectively 916 ft., 1,016 ft., 1,116 ft., 1,266 ft., and 
1,416 ft. below the collar, which is 1,690 ft. above sea-level. The old Progi-ess work- 
ings are approached by two adits from Devil Creek. From the lower, which is 
about 44 ft. a,bove No. 4 shaft level, an underground vertical shaft was sunk to a 
depth of 450 ft., and from it three levels were opened. Winding from this shaft 
was at first by means of compressed air, but this was replaced in 1894 by steam. 

In the upper workings of this mine at least eight large bodies of ore were 
stoped. In the old Progress Claim, from west to east, these were Smith's, Adams', 
and the dam blocks ; in the Globe, the west, middle, east, and Union (two) blocks ; 
but in the lower workings these lost their distinctiveness to a great extent. The 
Progress blocks were grouped under that name and worked down to No. 10 level, 
below which they could not be traced. The three western blocks of the Globe 
united about No. 6 level to form one great ore-body, hich maintained its integrity 
to No. 8 level, below which it was broken up by faulting. The other two blocks 
worked by the original Union Company united in depth into what is usually known 
as the Union (or east) block (not to be confounded with the east block of the 
old Globe). Below No. 8 this ore-body also lost its identity, being broken up 
by faults into many fragments. The result of the earth - movements has been 
that the three levels below No. 8 have developed ore -bodies lying in all sorts 
of attitudes and with many orientations. In No. 9 level, from which a very large 
tonnage of high-grade ore has been mined, the structure of the ore-bodies has been 
described as anticlinal. The writer has had no opportunity of studying the facts 
of occurrence, but on general grounds is inclined to doubt the existence of such a 
structure, the probable explanation being that two fragments of the main shoot 



159 

have been shifted by earth-movements into positions that simulate an anticHnal 
arch. No. 9 proved a very profitable level, while a contrary statement applies to 
No. 10. The chief ore-body of No. 11 level is known as the Pioneer block, and 
consists of a large flat-lying mass of quartz elongated meridionally and with, a slight 
pitch southward. It varies in thickness, averaging perhaps 20 ft. At its south 
end, where it is terminated by an east-and-west fault, it is about 200 ft. wide, but 
this gradually decreases northward until in No. 10 level, where it has recently been 
discovered, it is not much more than 100 ft. wide. 

The Globe-Progress lode is decidedly the largest so far developed in the Reefton 
district. In the upper workings it has been traced for at least 30 chains, although 
it is not continuous for this whole distance, but, as already stated, is broken up into 
a number of blocks. Its course here is on the whole a little south of east, but 
at the eastern end this turns to a little east of south, linking it with the great 
north-north-east lode-series that traverses the country from Merrijigs to Auld Creek. 
The large blocks of ore which were worked by the old Progress Company, and of 
which the downward extension was exploited to No. 10 level, have in general a 
strike of a few degrees west of north. There is, however, not the slightest doubt 
but that they owe their present orientation to the powerful north-north-west fault 
that limits to the westward the ore-bodies hitherto discovered. In depth the strike 
of the main ore-body gradually changes until it conforms with that of the lode-series 
or " reef-line " mentioned above. The dip is at first to the southward at about 
60°, but changes to the westward as the strike alters in direction. As already, 
stated, the great west fault dislocated the lode at its western end on the surface, 
but did not affect the main ore-bodies until No. 8 level was reached, at which 
depth the westward dip brought the lode within the influence of some of the fractures 
subsidiary to the main fault. Down to this level the dip was fairly regular, and 
averaged 60°, but below it the ore-bearing zone gradually flattens until at No. 11 
level the main ore-bodies are horizontally disposed. The result of this flattening 
has been greatly to increase the amount of ore commanded by Nos. 9, 10, and 11 
levels. It is evident from the flattening of the ore-bearing zone in the lower levels 
that the earth-block containing the lode has been let down relatively to that on 
the western side of the fault, a conclusion confirmed by the occurrence of a con- 
siderable amount of drag-quartz upward from No. 11 level along the main plane 
of movement. The zone of moderately disturbed country in which the blocks worked 
in Nos. 9 to 11 levels occur is traversed not only by faults subsidiary and sub- 
parallel to the main fracture, but also by dislocations crossing these with angles 
approaching 90°. The structure here is exceedingly complex and difficult to 
understand. Since the writer's visit a model of the ore-bodies of the Progress 
Mine, so far as known, has been made, and this ought greatly to assist the manage- 
ment in the elucidation of the structure. On the surface the belt of disturbed 
country to the westward of the workings is between 25 chains and 30 chains in 
width, and it is probably traversed by several pronounced i-uptures similar to that 
against which the ore-bodies terminate. Between these will occur country much less 
disturbed, where the lode-fragments will probably be large enough to permit of 
profitable mining. Up to the present the efforts of the company to locate ore- 
bodios beyond the main fracture have failed. It has, however, been established, 
from the exploration along the main fracture-plane, that the ore-bodies beyond the 
fault lie at a level higher than No. 9 level, and it is reasonable to hope that a 
continuance of the present intelligently directed operations will lead to success. It 
must be noted that the diamond drill has been extensively used for pros})ecting 
in this mine, and, although the results achieved have justified the expenditure in- 



160 

curred, they have certainly not been as successful as might have been expected. 
The caving nature of the crushed country offers great difficulties to the boring of 
deep holes without great expense. It may be stated that a vertical drill-hole from 
No. 11 level reached a depth of over 1,000 ft. without penetrating anything of value. 

Of the prospects lying to the south of the Globe-Progress workings, the General 
Gordon and the Empress are certainly on the same lode. The ore averages 2 ft. 
in width, and is not of high grade. Again, it is reported that the low-level adit 
of the General Gordon failed to find ore. These are probably the reasons why this 
area has been neglected since the early " nineties." 

Immediately to the south is the Souvenir Claim, of which the vein lies a little 
to the westward of the direct line of the General Gordon - Empress lode. The outcrop 
may be traced on the surface for nearly 100 ft. as a narrow quartz vein carrying 
much stibnite. In the Reefton district this mineral is so constantly associated with 
rich ore that the lode is worthy of further development on this account alone. 

McKay* in 1882 described an occurrence of antimony-ore in Auld Creek. In 
the years following a considerable amount of prospecting was done in this locality, 
and numerous quartz veins were discovered, some of which contained gold to an 
encouraging extent. Within recent years more favourable results were obtained in 
the Bonanza Claim, where an ore-body 8 ft. to 9 ft. in width and worth about 
£1 10s. per ton in gold was found. This block is north of and is very closely 
connected with the stibnite-bearing lode discovered many years ago by Theodor 
Ranft. 

Maori Gully Group. 

This large group of lodes has not, up to the present, been found to include an 
ore-shoot of commercial value. The claim that has received most attention — ^the 
Golden Point — covers the rock-cut terrace -point separating the main branches of 
Devil Creek. The auriferous lodes traversing the greywacke of this area seem to 
have been uncovered by the sluicing operations of Newth and party, probably in 
1878. A company was registered on the 1st July, 1882, and vigorously prospected 
the ground. A 10-head battery was erected, and about 1,000 tons of quartz was 
crushed. Several gold-bearing lodes up to 4 ft. in width, as well as richly auriferous 
leaders, were explored, but the returns were unremunerative ; and in 1885 the property 
passed into the hands of Mr. G. Perotti, the principal shareholder, who steadily pro- 
spected the claim for many years. In 1907-8 trial crushings were made with 
unsatisfactory results, and in 1911 a shaft was sunk from which a level has been 
driven and several tracks and leaders intersected. The country of this claim is 
decidedly faulted, and the blocks of rich ore are small and broken. 

At the time of the discovery of the Golden Point lodes the ground to the south- 
ward was also prospected, and numerous quartz outcrops were laid bare. Of these 
the Morning Star vein, found by William Harvey, was promising but did not open 
up well, the gold-bearing leader, which strikes at right angles to the general trend 
of the lodes, being very erratic. Another claim in this locality on which a good 
deal of money was spent was the Koh-i-noor. In 1912 Bierworth and party worked 
the old Morning Star under the name of the New Discovery, and erected a small 
battery on the ground. A crushing of 20 tons, however, was hopelessly impayable, 
and the claim was abandoned. 

North of the Grolden Point, in the block of shattered greywacke drained by 
DarMe and Soldier creeks, several outcrops have from time to time received attention. 

* Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1882, No. 15, 1883, p. 88. 



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161 

Tlie most notable were known as the Golden Hope and Merrie England, but none were 
found worthy of systematic exploration. 

The returns from the Maori Gully group of mines are given in the table printed 
on page 174. 

Mereijigs Group. 

History. 

In February, 1872, the brothers Adams discovered a " mountain of quartz " — ^the 
" Big Blow " — near the head of Eainy Creek. Owing to the difficulties of transport, 
and the fact that the ore was not of such high grade as that of the Murray Creek 
mines, it was not until 1876 that crushing commenced, the Rainy Creek Company 
completing a steam-driven 15-head mill at a cost of £6,000 in that year. The ore 
was much poorer than was expected, giving a return of only 2 dwt. per ton. The 
company collapsed, and Messrs. Graham and Allen, who had erected the battery, 
purchased the mine and mill for a nominal sum. The new owners worked the 
property intermittently, just so long as the mill would run without renewals and 
repairs ; and their returns, which are not available, are reported to have been very 
poor. In 1876 another company, the Inkerman, started operations on a claim farther 
to the west, of which the lode (first prospected by Joseph Potter) was large, being 
often more than 20 ft. in thickness. After several years had been spent in develop- 
ment, arrangements were made with Graham and Allen, the owners of the Rainy 
Creek battery, and about 800 tons of ore was crushed at the latter's mill for a return 
of rather more than £1 per ton. Seeing that the charge for crushing was 15s. per 
ton, this yield was unpayable, and stoping operations were suspended. In 1884 the 
company finished the erection of a 30-head battery, which at that time was the 
largest and most up-to-date mill in the district. This enterprise was speedily justified. 
The ore improved in quality as it was followed down, and, although no dividends 
were paid, the heavy liabilities of the company were discharged from the profits. 
Unfortunately, after two years' continuous work the lode, which had been mined 
to a depth of 340 ft. below the surface, cut out and could not be picked up again 
at a greater depth. 

Meanwhile, however, a more persistent "line of reef" or lode -series had been 
discovered farther west. In 1882 prospecting commenced in the Happy Valley Claim 
at the head of Slab Hut Creek, but nothing of note was found in this locality until 
June of 1887, when Robert Lees prospected the Sir Francis Drake. Other finds 
were quickly made : thus the Inkerman West was found in March, 1888, by Henry 
Evans, the Scotia by Robert Robin, and later the Gallant. Developments on the 
new claims were considered satisfactory ; the Drake erected a steam-driven 15-head 
battery in Slab Hut Creek, and the Inkerman constructed an aerial tram 73 chains 
in length connecting the new lode with their plant in Rainy Creek. This latter 
company was successful ; for several years dividends were paid, but in 1892 
the reef was lost, and the company, after prospecting for some time, went into 
liquidation. The Sir Francis Drake began crushing in 1889, but the returns were 
decidedly poor. The Scotia, however, which had its ore treated at the Drake 
battery, was found to contain very good ore, and dividends were paid. The lode 
in this claim, however, soon cut out, and attempts to locate its continuation were 
unsuccessful. 

In 1888 Messrs. Graham and Allen promoted the Supreme Company, which took 
over their interests in the old Rainy Creek properties. The new owners drove a 
low-level tunnel, developing a large amount of ore. The yield from a crushing, 
however, was exceedingly poor, and the company was wound up. 

11 — Reef ton. 



162 

The Cumberland lode, which so far has been the most remunerative of this 
group, was found about the middle of 1890. Next year a steam-driven 15-head 
mill was erected in Deep Creek, and yielded returns which enabled £13,800 to be 
distributed in dividends in five years. The reef, which throughout was greatly dis- 
turbed and faulted, was finally lost, and has not siace been located. In 1898 a 
cyanide plant was erected by a syndicate to treat the accumulated tailings, and the 
success attending this venture forcibly brought imder the notice of mining men in 
this district the fact that their extraction methods saved barely one-half of the gold 
in the ore. 

Meanwhile the Sir Francis Drake and its neighbour the Gallant struggled on in an 
endeavour to make the low-grade ore, which occurs in large quantities in both claims, 
pay expenses. In this, although the Gallant paid a dividend, they were on the whole 
imsuccessful, the Gallant going into liquidation early in 1894, and the Drake shortly 
afterwards. The plant and claim of the latter were acquired by a working-party, 
who did better than the company — sufficiently well to induce them to sink the shaft 
another lift. In 1900 the property was taken over by a company — the New Scotia — 
which held in addition the Scotia, Gallant, and Happy Valley claims. An up-to-date 
cyanide plant was erected, and the accumulated tailings treated, with a handsome 
profit. Attention was also directed to the Gallant section of the property, in which 
a considerable amount of work was done. The ore developed, however, was 
unpayable, and in 1904 the property was taken over by a syndicate, who, after 
sinking " Martin's winze " and taking out an unsatisfactory crushing, ceased operations 
in 1905. 

In 1896 a company known as the Inkerman Combined Mines was formed in 
London, and acquired a group of old claims of which the Rainy Creek (or Supreme) 
and the Inkerman were the most important. In February, 1897, an extensive scheme 
of development was initiated, of which the chief feature was a low-level adit driven 
from Eainy Creek to the Inkerman shaft, a distance of nearly 3,800 ft. A great 
deal of development-work was also carried out, and much ore was opened up. The 
company, after being reconstructed as the New Inkerman Mines in 1899, began 
crushing in 1900 with 15 heads of the old battery that had been again brought 
into commission. Unfortunately, the ore was of too low a grade, and . other 
financial arrangements were rendered necessary. After further developmental work 
crushing was recommienced in 1903. For two years the ore yielded a small profit, 
but in 1905 the returns became unpayable, and the mortgagees sold the machinery 
and claim to the Consolidated Goldfields. This company, after taking out a trial 
crushing with unsatisfactory results, shut down the mine and dismantled the plant. 

In 1901 a company known as the Industry took up the Cumberland Claim and 
the ground immediately to the north, which had previously (1895-97) been known 
as the Exchange, and prospected in part from the surface and in part from the 
deeper workings of the Cumberland into which it had been absorbed in 1897. In 
1903 the Industry, together with the Golden Lead group of claims, was merged into 
the United Mines. A considerable amount of prospecting was carried out by the 
company, and some good ore was found, but the lode was so broken and shattered 
that it could not be followed, and the United Mines was wound up in 1905. 

The Consolidated Goldfields in 1912 acquired most of the claims formerly held 
by the New Scotia and United Mines, and, after repairing several levels in the Cum- 
berland and Drake claims without result, decided to sink the Sir Francis Drake shaft 
a farther depth of 300 ft., a work which was proceeding at the time of the writer's 
visit in 1913, but has since been temporarily suspended. 



163 

Workings. 
Rainy Greek and Supreme Mines. — The great mass of quartz known as the " Big 
Blow " has no counterpart in the Reef ton district. It consists of a mass of quartz 
100 ft. wide by 150 ft. in length, culminating in a point projecting 30 ft. above the 
surrounding surface. The longer axis has a strike about 15° west of north, a direction 
continued southward by broken quartz outcrops for more than 300 ft., until the Palseozoic 
rocks disappear beneath Miocene strata, while northward irregular ore-bodies occur on 
the same line for about 200 ft. The Big Blow is said to have terminated below in a 
rounded surface " like the hull of a ship," which rested on " good reefing country," but 
no track downward could be found. The plans of the earlier workings are not available, 
and the information obtained by the writer concerning this unique occurrence is of the 
scantiest. 

In 1888 good ore was found on the western boundary of the Supreme Claim, 
a winze 40 ft. deep was sunk, and later a drive 180 ft. below the outcrop and 
360 ft. long was put in. In 1890 another drift on quartz 260 ft. long and running 
nearly east and west is recorded, but no plans are available of this or the previous 
workings. In 1893 the Inkerman Company tested the Lady Louisa outcrops, originally 
discovered by Edward Carton, by means of short drives, but the ore extracted yielded 
only 3 dwt. of gold to the ton. In the same year a winze was sunk on the Big Blow 
and some ore crushed, but the results were very poor. In 1897 the Inkerman Combined 
Mines commenced extensive operations in this locality. In the Big Blow - Supreme 
section of the property what are known as the Golden Gully workings proved the 
existence of a large amount of ore in direct continuation with the Big Blow, but this 
was evidently of very low grade or very broken, for there is no record of any crushing 
from this point. This company, and later the New Inkerman Mines, drove No. 2 and 
No. 3 Supreme levels. In the south branch of No. 2 level a very large ore-body was 
opened up, but No. 3 level, which penetrated beneath the Big Blow and Golden Gully 
workings, appears to have missed quartz- — at least, no prospecting-drives from the main 
crosscut are shown on the plans available. A similar statement seems to be applicable 
to No. 4 Supreme, driven beneath the Lady Louisa outcrops. The same company drove 
a low-level tunnel from Rainy Creek westward into the Inkerman Claim, and from this 
tunnel, 1,033 ft. from the entrance, projected a crosscut known as No. 5 south drive to 
the Supreme lode, which at this level proved to be very wide (45 ft. wide, but mixed 
with mullock) and about 400 ft. long. From this drive an incline shaft was sunk to a 
vertical depth of about 200 ft., and levels opened at 100 ft. and 200 ft. respectively. In 
these the lode was found to be from 3 ft. to 57 ft. wide, and of a length correspondiag 
with that shown in the upper levels. Unfortunately the grade of the ore was low, and 
a succession of small faults added considerably to mining-costs. There was a proposal 
to deepen this shaft and prospect the ore underfoot, but as the quartz above had 
barely paid working-expenses, and as it was unlikely that the deeper levels would recoup 
the capital required for this work, this project was not carried out, and the mine was 
shut down. 

The workiags described above show that the Supreme lode had a strike of about 
50° east of north, with a dip of about 65° to the south-east. It seems probable that 
the Big Blow also has an easterly dip, but the workings are not extensive enough to 
permit of a positive statement. 

Inkerman Mine. — The lode worked by the original Inkerman Company runs through 
the hill on which Trig. B is situated. It was found in January of 1876 by Joseph 
Potter, and the company, of which the history has been sufficiently indicated on the 
preceding pages, was registered shortly afterwards. The reef was large, up to 200 ft. in 
length and often 20 ft. in width, and was worked to a depth of 340 ft. below the out- 
H*— Reefton. 



164 

crop before being lost. Three levels were opened, and the workings were extended 40 ft. 
below No. 3 or the 300 ft. level by means of a horsewhip. In 1896 the Inkerman 
Combined Mines retimbered No. 3 level and extended it 800 ft., much of which distance 
was driven on "lode formation " — that is, fault gouge. The same company threw out a 
branch drive, known as No. 3 south drive, from their main low level and prospected 
the country beneath the upper workings, with which connection was efiected by a rise. 
No ore was found in these workings, and after the reconstruction of the company in 
1899 no further work was done in this portion of the property, all the attention of the 
management being directed to the Supreme section. The workings above described 
indicate that the strike of the lode was from east and west to east-south-east, with a 
steep southerly dip. 

Inkerman West Mine. — The Inkerman West is the most northerly of a group of 
claims distributed along Lees' lode-series (line). It was discovered by Henry Evans in 
March of 1888, and was traced on the surface a distance of 350 ft. Development was 
by a surface winze, but later a vertical shaft was sunk close at hand. This shaft 
ultimately attained a depth of 423 ft., and from it four levels were opened. No. 1 
level, 68 ft. from the collar, connected with the drift from the winze first sunk ; and in 
this level the ore was driven on for a total length of about 330 ft. and was from 18 in. 
to 5 ft. wide, with an average of perhaps 3 ft. No. 2 level, 218 ft. down the shaft, 
opened up ore from 1 ft. to 7 ft. in width for a distance of 220 ft. No. 3 level, driven 
at a depth of 318 ft. from the surface, was on ore for a length of only 50 ft. A winze 
from No. 3 was sunk to a depth of 60 ft., but in its lower part the lode was very 
broken. An intermediate, 45 ft. below the No. 2 level, opened up 107 ft. of quartz 
averaging about 3 ft. ia width. No. 4 level, at 423 ft., formed part of the low-level 
adit driven by the Inkerman Combined Mines from Eainy Creek. In it no ore was 
developed, but a good " reef-track " striking nearly north and south was followed for a 
length of more than 300 ft. 

From the workings shown on Plan 12 it may be gathered that the lode had a 
general strike of about 50° east of north, with a steep south-easterly dip, which changes 
to a westerly one in No. 3 level. If this lode belongs to Lees' series its strike should 
be a little west of north, and its dip westerly. The change in strike and dip has 
probably been brought about by faulting, which has displaced that portion of the lode 
which has been worked. The evidence for this is found in the change in dip between 
No. 2 and No. 3 levels, the fault-dragged ore in No. 3 and in the winze below it, and 
the flaky walls of the lode in No. 2 level and lower workings. This fault apparently 
had a nearly north-and-south strike, a suggestion supported by the strike of the ore in 
No. 3 level and again by that of the " reef-track " driven on in No. 4. It is probable 
that the fault has a westerly dip, as shown by the change in dip of the lode between 
No. 2 and No. 3 levels, and indicated by the topography and by the depressed position 
of the Miocene rocks lying to the west of the shaft. If this be the case the " reef- 
track " followed in No. 4 cannot be the fault cutting off the lode in No. 3, but probably 
corresponds to the track driven on from the crosscut pushed for a small distance towards 
the original Inkerman lode in No. 3 level. 

The lower lost portion of the ore-shoot ought to be found on the eastern side of 
the zone of displacement, and northward of any of the present underground workings. 
It may reasonably be assumed that the fault is post-Miocene in age, and in this case 
it is doubtful if denudation has sufficiently advanced to cause the lode to again outcrop. 

Inkerman South CZaim.— Auriferous quartz was found on the Inkerman South lease in 
July, 1890. It was very rich, 90 tons giving a return of 3 oz. per ton, but the ore Was 
very broken, and no well-defined lode could be discovered. The surface in this locality 
was energetically prospected in the " nineties," and still occasionally receives attention. 



165 



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166 

Scotia Mine. — Eich ore was found in this lease early in 1888 by Robert Robin, and 
shoad was traced north and south nearly across the claim. Two winzes were sunk, 
30 ft. and 200 ft. respectively from the south boundary, and a crosscut driven from 
Scotia Creek connected with the south winze in a distance of 320 ft. In all only 67 ft. 
was driven on ore, which averaged about 2 ft. in width. This level was later extended 
several hundred feet northward, and also south 50 ft. into the Gallant Claim, which 
adjoins the Scotia in that direction, without disclosing anything of value. A winze 
was also sunk from the adit on the small block first developed, but after sinking 26 ft. 
the ore cut out. The winze eventually was sunk to 140 ft., and crosscuts driven into 
the walls. The first crosscut, 45 ft. down, located ore 1 ft. thick in the foot-wall, but 
the other, at 75 ft., although produced 80 ft., disclosed nothing, and in 1893 the claim 
was abandoned. 

The ore in this claim was high grade, but beyond the small ore-body first found 
nothing of consequence could be discovered, although the surface was faithfully 
prospected. The workings, surface and underground, show that the original lode must 
have been much shattered by faults, a condition which also extends into the Inkerman 
South. The chief faults in this locality evidently belong to the Black's Point system, 
but north-and-south fractures parallel to the neighbouring Murray Creek zone have 
probably had more to do with the shattering of the ore-bodies. 

Hard-to-Find Mine.- — The small lode of this claim, which lies to the west of the 
Scotia, strikes a little west of north, and fills an unimportant fracture parallel to the 
main ore-channels of Lees' lode-series. A winze 60 ft. deep was sunk on the outcrop, 
here 2 ft. wide, and an adit driven which cut the quartz in a distance of 250 ft. 
A little stoping was done on ore from 1 ft. to 3 ft. in width, but the yield was too 
small to justify further work, and the claim was abandoned. No plans of the workings 
are available. 

Gallant Mine. — This claim was pegged out early in 1888, and the vein in it was traced for 
more than 1,000 ft., from near the southern right to the northern boundary. A winze 
was sunk to a depth of 120 ft. about 5 chains from the Scotia boundary, and an adit, 
with its entrance beside that of the Scotia adit, was driven to the lode, which it cut 
in 250 ft., about 175 ft. north of the winze and 150 ft. below the outcrop. Hundreds 
of feet of driving was done on the lode and track, the ore being usually from 2 ft. 
to 4 ft. in width. Generally it was too low grade to pay, but in 1891 profitable stone 
was milled from a point where the lode averaged about 18 in. In 1893 the claim 
was abandoned, and no serious efiort to explore the lode was made until 1901, when 
the New Scotia Company cleaned out the adit and sunk a winze. Connection was also 
made with the Sir Francis Drake shaft by way of No. 1 Drake level, about 250 ft. 
below the Gallant adit. An intermediate from the winze was also driven north on 
quartz from 10 ft. to 16 ft. wide. Operations were unprofitable, however, and attention 
was directed to opening another vein in the Gallant Claim lying 200 ft. to the west of 
and parallel with the Gallant lode. On this a winze, "Martin's winze," was sunk over 
200 ft., and two levels were opened from it. No. 1 level was driven at a vertical 
depth of 111 ft. north and south on the reef, which was from 2J ft. to 3| ft. in 
width. No. 2 level, about 200 ft. from the surface, was driven 70 ft. on ore from 
2 ft. to 4 ft. wide. The returns of the crushings from these levels were not sufiiciently 
encouraging to warrant further work. 

Sir Francis Drake and Happy Valley Mines. — The Happy Valley was the fijst 
claim on the Merrijigs Hill to receive systematic prospecting. This was as early as 
1882, when McGee brothers found gold-bearing leaders in part of the claim. An 
east-and-west lode exists in the ground, as well as those on the main north-and-south 



167 

series. A winze 60 ft. deep was sunk on a large quartz Vein near the head of Slab 
Hut Creek ; some driving was also done, and a small crushing taken out, but the ore 
proved hopelessly unpayable. 

The Sir Francis Drake lode was discovered by Robert Lees in 1887, and was 
traced on the surface for 250 ft., showing a maximum width of 5 ft. A crosscut driven 
35 ft. below the outcrop cut the lode in 60 ft. at a point where it was 8 ft. in thick- 
ness. A second adit, 115 ft. below the first, struck the lode in 260 ft. ; and in this 
adit the quartz varied up to 9 ft. thick, with an average of, say, 3 ft. The ore taken 
from this level was of rather low grade, and for some time little work was done, but 
in 1892 a shaft was sunk and a level opened at 190 ft. from the surface. Three 
small blocks were opened up, of which two were each about 80 ft. in length, and 
the third and most northerly about 70 ft. A cross-drive from the lower adit also got 
unpayable quartz in the Happy Valley ground. In 1899 a second level was opened 
from the shaft at a depth of 330 ft., and an ore-body 80 ft. long by 3| ft. wide was 
developed, but evidently did not yield a very profitable return, for work was soon 
suspended. Later the New Scotia Company did a good deal of prospecting from 
the shaft levels on the Happy Valley lode and also in the Gallant Claim, but the 
results were discouraging. At the time of the writer's examination of this portion of 
the subdivision (February, 1914) the Consohdated Goldfields had opened up the shaft 
again and were engaged in sinking it a farther distance of 300 ft. The faults of this 
and the adjoining Gallant Claim are small, and appear to have produced no important 
dislocation. 

Cumberland-Exchange Mine. — Robert Lees, when endeavouring to trace the north- 
ward continuation of the Golden Lead auriferous belt, found a flat-lying quartz-body 
about 4 ft. in thickness. This was the Cumberland lode that later was found to 
consist of two veins, each about 4 ft. in thickness and separated by 14 ft. of mullock, 
the upper being red and the lower blue and unoxidized. An adit was driven 30 ft. 
below the outcrop, which struck ore in a vertical attitude 130 ft. from daylight. 
The lode was followed for 250 ft., and varied from 1ft. to 10 ft. in width. No. 2 level, 
133 ft. below No. 1, struck the " reef-track " 450 ft. from the entrance, and followed it 
for 140 ft. without result. An intermediate level was then driven from a winze below 
No. 1, developing about 100 ft. of ore. No. 2 was then extended 150 ft. in a north- 
westerly direction to the lode, which at this level was about 100 ft. in length and 10 ft. 
to 12 ft. in average thickness. An incline shaft of 64 ft., measured on the incline, was 
then sunk from No. 2, at the bottom of which the ore was very much broken, but 
a crosscut intersected the lode 40 ft. from the bottom of the incUne. This ore-body 
was from 1| ft. to 2 ft. wide, 110 ft. long, and of high grade. A vertical shaft 
220 ft. deep was then sunk, and a crosscut put out to the west, in which low-grade 
ore was struck. A great deal of prospecting was done in this level, which was 
extended northward into the Exchange Claim where a fissure filled with pug and quartz 
fragments was followed, while southward large bodies of barren quartz up to 18 ft. wide 
were driven on. Winzes were also sunk, but the rich ore of the upper workings 
could not be traced below the first intermediate above the lowest level. 

The Exchange Claim, immediately to the north, was held by a separate company 
until 1898, when the Cumberland and Exchange were amalgamated. The workings 
consist of two adits, the second being 60 ft. below the first. In No. 1 a very broken 
lode about 3|- ft. in maximum thickness was found, but this in No. 2 was only from 
6 in. to 2 ft. wide, while prospecting at lower levels was conducted from the Cumber- 
land workings with negative results. Later this ground was again prospected by the 
Industry Company, which drove an adit at the level of the main road. This drift, 
which was begun in Miocene rocks and passed through a thin coal-seam, cut a gold- 



168 

bearing reef at 300 ft. A rise was put up to the surface, but tlie lode on being 
followed north was cut off by a fault. A winze followed quartz from 3 ft. to 4 ft. 
wide to a depth of 67 ft., and No. 1 level was reopened and extended to cut this 
block. The ore extracted yielded a profit, but a winze from No. 1 Exchange ran out 
of quartz at a depth of 21 ft., and was continued a farther 50 ft. along a fault-plane, 
in which drives north and south from the bottom of the winze were also constructed. 
At this time the company^ was merged, together with the Golden Lead, into the 
United Mines, a concern that shortly afterwards went into Uquidation. 

In the Cumberland and Exchange claims the ground was exceedingly broken and 
wet, conditions due to the fact that both claims he on the western edge of the 
Murray Creek fault-zone. From the distribution of the broken blocks, from which the 
Cumberland paid its handsome dividends, it is evident that the ore-shoot pitches to 
the north, conforming in this respect with the generality of Eeefton lodes. It is 
obvious, then, that the prospecting in the southern end of the lowest level had no 
chance of finding the Cumberland shoot, which probably hes in the Exchange ground, 
and might be found either by rising on the fault-plane containing the fragments of 
auriferous quartz or by driving westward from it. The finding of the shoot prospected 
by the Industry will probably present less difficulty than the locating of the Cumber- 
land shoot, but the data available in both cases are very scanty. Another method of 
attack would be to drive south from the Drake shaft to the Cumberland Claim ; and 
this scheme, though involving a much greater capital expenditure, has the decided 
advantage of exploring the ore-channels of Lees' lode-series south of the shaft at a 
gi-eater depth than has yet been attempted. 

Golden Lead Group. 
History. 

The discovery of the Sir Francis Drake and Inkerman West shoots in 1887-88 gave 
a great impetus to prospecting in the Merrijigs district, and this early in 1888 led 
to the discovery of a leader-zone of country which seems to have been first prospected 
in the O.K. Claim. It was, however, quickly traced into the adjoining Merrijigs and 
Golden Lead properties, and afterwards into the Al. After several years of prospecting 
it became manifest that no large lode existed in the auriferous zone, which consisted 
of shaken greywacke traversed by numerous quartz leaders that seldom preserved 
their identity for more than 200 ft. Several small parcels of picked ore were crushed 
at the Drake battery with satisfactory results, and the belief was confidently held 
that the leaders carried sufficient gold to make the whole zone payable if mined in 
a large way and cheaply transported to a battery. A water-driven 10-head battery was 
erected in Deep Creek by the Golden Lead, which afterwards absorbed the O.K. and 
Northumberland properties. Connection with the mine was effected by an aerial tram, 
and crushing commenced in 1892. The ore was roughly sorted in the mine, but even 
then the yield did not cover working-expenses, while development was continued by 
means of calls. In 1894 the plan of crushing the ore obtained from a fuU stoping 
width was abandoned, and the experiment of bagging the quartz from the leaders 
was tried, but proved no more profitable. It being impracticable, from the amount 
of water in the ground, to sink on the stock-work, a low-level tunnel was planned 
and ultimately driven nearly 1,800 ft. The company struggled along, crushing occasional 
parcels of picked stone, till 1903, when it was merged, together with the Industry, 
into the United Mines, a concern that went into liquidation in 1905. 

The other claims on this leader-zone, the Merrijigs and Al (also called for a time 
the Last Chance), have been worked in a desultory way since their discovery. From 



169 

time to time tributers and small working-parties liave followed individual leaders with 
fair success, and a steam-driven 5-liead stamp mill on the Al Claim has been a great 
convenience to these parties. 

Workings. 

The zone of crushed and mineralized country named after the McGee brothers by 
the writer has situated along it (from north to south) the Golden Lead, Northumber- 
land, O.K., Al, and Merrijigs claims, as well as others which do not seem ever to 
have produced ore. The belt or stock-work varies considerably in width, and is 
set between hard walls. The leaders and stringers, some of which are very rich, are 
scarcely ever more than 1 ft. in width, and are usually very much less. An individual 
leader has been known to preserve its identity for 220 ft., but in general they speedily 
die out on being followed. The zone itself in the Golden Lead No. 1 adit, 70 ft. 
below the outcrop, is reported to be 80 ft. wide, but a horse of hard rock, stated 
to be 30 ft. through, may be here included. In No. 2 level this bar has been reduced 
to 12 ft. In the Merrijigs adit the width of the zone was 38 ft. (on the boundary 
between this claim and the O.K. 60 ft. is given), while northward in the Al 20 ft. 
is reported. The dip of the zone is westward, but varies somewhat. Thus in the No. 2 
level. Golden Lead, the dip was between 40° and 45°, while in No. 3 it was steeper, 
and in No. 4 about 30°. 

The writer was unable to procure copies of the plans of any of the mines 
on this zone, and the descriptions here given are necessarily vague. A great amount 
of work was done in the Golden Lead, which also includes the O.K. and the 
Northumberland claims. The first level in the original Golden Lead Claim, about 170 ft. 
below the crown of the ridge and 70 ft. below the outcrop, was driven 400 ft. on the 
leader-zone. No. 2 level, about 150 ft. below No. 1, was driven on the stock-work 
more than 700 ft. No. 3, 120 ft. below No. 2 and 50 ft. below the main road, reached 
the formation after crossing country for about 150 ft., and then followed a leader 
for over 220 ft. No. 4 adit, usually known as the " low level," is about 400 ft. below 
No. 2, and has its entrance in O.K. gully, and a course a little west of north. Quartz 
veins were encountered at 300 ft. and 360 ft. from the portal, but beyond this for 
1,000 ft. the adit was in hard country, dipping about 35° to the westward. At 1,400 ft. 
" good reefing country " was entered, and continued to about 1,700 ft., when hard 
country was again met with. This belt of " reefing country " undoubtedly corresponds 
with the leader-bearing zone at the surface, and the writer was informed by several 
people that a barren vein was cut in it. On the other hand, there is no mention 
of such a lode in the reports of the Inspector of Mines ; and Mr. J. Wills, of Eeefton, 
who was a director of the Golden Lead Company throughout its existence, assured 
the writer that nothing worthy of the name of a " reef " was penetrated in this part 
of the trmnel. All are agreed that nothing of value was discovered. 

In the Al Claim several tunnels have been driven to the auriferous belt to tap 
a small but exceedingly rich leader lying on the foot-wall of the stock-work. This 
has been followed by tributers and working-parties for long distances. In the Merrijigs 
Claim a timnel about 700 ft. in length was driven, and cut the leader-zone about 
280 ft. below its outcrop. The foot-wall leader in this claim is decidedly larger but 
not nearly so rich as in the adjoining Merrijigs Claim. 

Big River Group. 

History. 

Alluvial miners penetrated to the head of the Big River in very early times, 

while auriferous quartz seems to have been first found in this locality, in the Big 

River Claim, by Hugh F. Doogan in 1880. A company, the Big River, was formed 



170 

in 1882 to work this find, but owing to the isolation of the claim and the difiiculty 
of access the operations were of a desultory nature. A pack-track of a sort had 
reached the locality in 1881, but it was not until 1886 that it was graded well enough 
for the transport of machinery. Next year a 10-head mill was built, a water-race 
completed, and an aerial tram connecting mine and battery erected. The crushing 
was a great disappointment, for although the yield was at the rate of more than 
25 dwt. per ton, yet so broken and irregular was the lode that this was unpayable. 
A new block 300 ft. to the west of the first workings was discovered, and attention 
was directed to its development. This proved to be less broken than that originally 
found, and a shaft was sunk from the end of the adit by which it was explored. 
To a depth of 700 ft. below this adit each level disclosed ore sufficient to pay divi- 
dends. No. 6 level, opened first in 1897, proved disappointing ; and it was not until 
1900 that the discovery of a small block of stone lying below this level put heart 
into the shareholders and induced them again to deepen their shaft. In 1907, at a 
depth of 1,375 ft., ore-bodies of larger size were encountered, and the yield from these 
has made the Big Kiver one of the most prosperous mining companies in the Eeefton 
district. 

In 1897 the company sold the accumulated taiiings for 8s. per ton to a 
Mr. McDonald, of South Africa, who erected a cyanide plant and treated nearly 4,000 tons 
for a handsome profit. The company then took over the plant and continued to work 
it, but later sold the plant and the remainder of the tailings, the treatment of which 
was completed in December, 1898. In 1908 the company, having purchased the cyanide 
plant at the Sir Francis Drake battery at Merrijigs, re-erected it at its own battery, 
and since that date has disposed of the tailings accumulated since 1898, and over- 
taken the current output of the mill. 

Although from time to time a great deal of prospecting has been done both in 
the immediate vicinity of the Big River Claim and in the neighbouring district, nothing 
of impor-tance has been discovered. In the " eighties " attention was directed to tracing 
the Big River lode southward into the Alexander Claim and northward into the Lord 
Edward. The latter company, of which the claim is now a part of the Big River 
holding, contributed to the cost of sinking the main shaft, and, having extended No. 2 
level into its claim, did much unsuccessful prospecting therefrom. The No. 2 Big River 
also adjoined the older claim, and a good deal of resultless work was undertaken 
in this ground. Again, from 1908 to 1910, a claim just to the north, the Big River 
North, was vigorously prospected by Kirwan and party, but, although for a time the 
chances appeared excellent, the country was found to be so shaken that the claim 
was abandoned. 

In 1891 John Gill found the National lode, which was driven on for 150 ft., but 
was too broken to be of value. Another lode-series on which much money and labour 
has been expended without result is that known as the Sunderland " line." This lies 
south-west of the Big River Township, and may be traced from there to south of the 
Snowy River. The first discovery on this series was made in the St. George Claim by 
James Sunderland, apparently in 1891. On the same "line" are the Conquest, Golden 
Hill, and Matthias claims. For several years the St. George was intermittently worked, 
and a water-driven 5-head battery was erected. A small block of ore was stoped out 
from a short adit, and about 30 tons crushed for a return of more than 70 oz. of gold. 
Other small low-grade ore-bodies were found and developed, but the returns from these 
were so disappointing that in 1895 the claim was abandoned and the plant sold. In 
1898 another attempt was made to prove the ground, but this also came to nothing. 
In 1904 a little desultory prospecting was done in the St. George and in the Searchlight, 
a claim at the northern end of the same lode-series and within a mile of the Big River 



171 

battery. The success following operations of the Big River during 1908 caused attention 
once more to be directed to this locality, and the whole of the Sunderland lode-series 
was again pegged out, and companies were formed. The Big River South held the 
ground at the northern end, while the St. George Quartz-mining Company acquired the 
St. George and Matthias claims at its southern end. Operations were unsuccessful in 
locating a profitable ore-body, and have since ceased. 

Workings. 

Big River Mine. — The underground workings of the Big River Claim are fairly 
extensive. Two adits are driven with their mouths close together, of which the first 
goes north-eastward toward the first-found outcrop, and the second north-west and then 
eastward to the main shaft, which it reaches at a point 220 ft. below the surface. Nine 
other levels have been opened from this shaft, the lowest of which is 1,575 ft. below the 
surface. The blocks of ore developed in the adit levels are widely separated from the 
other blocks. The ore-bodies developed in No. 2 to No. 5 levels are more or less 
connected, and the same may be said of the double blocks occurring in No. 7 to No. 10 
levels. It is probable that the northerly blocks of the lower levels may be correlated 
with the ore-bodies so far developed in the upper levels, except in the case of that in 
No. 2 level. The southerly ore-bodies of the lower levels would then correspond with the 
original Big River block that was also located in No. 2. In this case two original ore- 
shoots would be indicated, and further prospecting toward the south-east in No. 3 to 
No. 6 levels is advisable. 

The ore-bodies so far developed are so broken and have an orientation so varied 
that it is impossible to state definitely what the strike of the lode originally was. It 
is apparent, however, that the lode had an easterly dip and a northerly pitch ; and the 
writer is inclined to believe, from the distribution of the scattered blocks of ore and 
from the strike of the principal faults of this locality, that a westerly-dipping fault-zone 
with a strike a little east of north has shattered the original lode. The workings have 
not yet penetrated beyond the limits of this zone, for although the lower levels have 
disclosed far more ore than has yet been discovered in the upper levels, the country is 
just as shaken and faulted in the deepest level as on the surface. 

Other Claims. — The underground workings of the other claims in this group are very 
imperfectly known by the writer. The National ground was not inspected, but the 
country is reported to be very broken, and a wide fault-zone striking toward the claim 
shows on the road-line close at hand. In the Big River North a large " reef-track " 
containing fragments of auriferous quartz was followed for a long distance. This was 
midoubtedly one of the post-mineral fault-planes so numerous in this locality. In the 
St. George Claim a formation about 12 ft. wide on the surface showed broken quartz 
and a leader from Sin. to Sin. thick. A low level driven from the Snowy River fall 
followed a fault-plane containing broken quartz, with walls well slickensided, for many 
hundreds of feet. The Big River South Company drove on a similar, perhaps the same, 
fault-plane in their claim. It is evident that an ore-channel probably carrying several 
shoots has been reopened by later movements, and has had its contents and walls again 
crushed. 

A table showing the yields of the Big River Mine will be found on page 174. 

Blackwater Group. 

History. 
The first record of prospecting in this locality is that of the work done by the 
Snowy Creek United Company, which in 1898 sank a winze 118 ft. on a lode which 
averaged 2 ft. in width. Next year tributers, Messrs. Dufy and Rogers, erected a 



172 

5-liead battery and drove a level from tlie winze. The crushing they took out gave 
but an indifferent yield, and in 1900 the company took over the tributers' plant and did 
some further prospecting. Evidently the results were imsatisfactory, for the property 
was abandoned. 

In November, 1905, William Martin, a member of a subsidized prospecting party, 
discovered the outcrop of a 2 ft. lode in Greek Creek, a small tributary of Snowy Eiver. 
The property was acquired by Mr. P. N. Kingswell, who, after spending a considerable 
amount in development, disposed of it to the Consolidated Goldfields of New Zealand 
and Progress Mines. These companies further opened up the lode, chiefly by surface 
■winzes, and afterwards formed the Blackwater Mines Company in order to take over 
and work the property. A battery having been built, crushing began in July, 1908, 
and has continued up to the present date, save for a six-months interruption in 1912 
due to a strike. The treatment plant consists of a 30-head mill, with tube mills, 
concentratmg-tables, and cyanide plant. Power is supplied in part by a Pelton wheel 
driven by water drawn from Snowy Creek, and in part by a suction-gas plant, which is 
brought into commission when the water-supply is insufficient. 

The success attending the development of the Birthday lode (Martin's reef) stimulated 
prospecting in the vicinity. The efforts made to trace this lode northward into the 
Prohibition Claim and southward into the Blackwater South lease have not been over- 
successful. At the present time Mr. David Ziman is sinking a shaft in the Prohibition 
Claim to catch the Blackwater shoot in depth, where its northerly pitch takes it out of 
the Blackwater Mines' groimd. A company has been formed to develop the Blackwater 
South in depth, but at the time of the writer's visit operations to this end had not 
commenced. This company also hold groimd in which occur the Snowy Creek as well 
as the Empire and Imperial lodes, of which the two latter are, for practical purposes, 
still imdeveloped. 

In 1911 a gold-bearing lode was found on the north bank of the Snowy, about two 
miles to the west of the Blackwater lode. In the early days a miner in his search for 
alluvial gold had uncovered gold-bearing quartz in this locality, and on the strength of 
his statements the Millerton Syndicate sent out J. Danks to prospect the ground, with 
the above result. Several adits were driven, one of which followed the lode for several 
hundred feet, and the prospects were considered so encouraging that a company was 
formed to develop the property on a larger scale. 

This lode-series, to which the writer has given the name of " Danks," has been 
traced northward beyond the Blackwater in Saraty's lease, and again beyond the Big 
River in Lee's discovery. At the time of the writer's visit the surface show on both 
these properties Was encouraging. 

Workings. 

Blackwater Mine. — -A shaft has been smrk about 200 ft. west of the line of outcrop, 
and from it levels have been opened at depths of 150 ft., 305 ft., 430 ft., 615 ft., 765 ft., 
925 ft., and 1,075 ft. from the brace. An adit known as the north tunnel has been 
driven northward from Greek Creek for more than 1,200 ft., while No. 2 level is the 
original Joker adit. A low-level adit, which strikes the shaft at a depth of 490 ft., 
connects with the mill. These workings prove that the Blackwater lode is the most 
regular in the Reefton district, and that it varies up to 6 ft. in width, with an average 
of about 2 ft. The dip is to the westward at about 80°, and the strike approximately 
30° east of north. Three shoots exist with a pitch to the northward of 38° ; the most 
southerly shoot is about 800 ft. long, the central nearly 1,400 ft., while in the case of 
the northern shoot the work so far undertaken is insufficient to prove its length. The 
blank ground between these shoots is quite inconsiderable, and in places they probably 




■A 
Oh 

•A 















173 

merge into eacli other. In 1915 a new ore-shoot 400 ft. long was found in No. 6 level, 
south of the most southerly shoot. This is not yet fully developed, but is probably 
only a widening of the stringer followed in the southern portion of the Joker adit. 
The developments at the northern end of the lease indicate that some fault-movement 
has taken place, and this is further borne out by the fact that the Prohibition crosscut 
driven just outside the claim failed to find ore. The more probable explanation, 
however, is that no ore-shoots exist in this fissure north of those already mentioned, and 
that the broken ground represents the shattered country usually found at the edge of 
an ore-shoot. In the southerly portion of the property some driving has been done on 
the Snowy lode, but the results were discouraging, the vein being small and broken. 

Blackwater South Claim. — The Blackwater South property is still in the prospecting 
stage. A crosscut 300 ft. long has been driven on the south bank of the Snowy 
River to the Birthday fissure, which here contains only broken ore ; it is obvious 
that a fault, or rather fault-zone, striking west of north, crosses the lode-channel 
about this point. The drift, which follows the fissure for about 200 ft., so far has 
disclosed nothing of value. Other auriferous lodes traversing the ground are the Snowy, 
Empire, and Imperial, and on these some work has been done. A small outcrop 
of auriferous quartz occurs in Kiwi Creek, a small branch of Brown Creek. This 
strikes 20° east of north, dips westward at 60°, and probably belongs to the Snowy 
lode. Near the head of the same creek the Imperial lode shows about 1 ft. of 
stock-work, striking 35° east of north, and dipping very steeply to the eastward. 
Between these lies the Empire lode, to which two adits 150 ft., apart have been 
driven from the valley of Quartz Creek, a tributary of Snowy River. The shoot of 
ore in the lower adit strikes 15° east of north, and dips steeply westward. It is 
115 ft. long, averages 8 dwt. per ton, but is only 16 in. wide. 

Prohibition (or Blackwater North) Claim.- — Mr. David Ziman holds an option over 
this claim, and is sinking a shaft to explore the ore-shoots from the Blackwater 
Mines that will in depth inevitably enter the Prohibition ground. Surface prospecting 
on this claim disclosed nothing of value,^™and its future depends entirely on the 
developmental work to be undertaken from the shaft. 

Other Claims on or near Martin's Lode-series. — ^Mr. Donald McDonald has for 
several years prospected a belt of likely looking country which crosses Blackwater 
Creek somewhat to the west of the line of the Birthday reef. Although several gold- 
bearing leaders have been intersected and followed, nothing of value has so far been found, 
and work has now ceased. A powerful fault manifestly disturbs the country at this point. 

A few chains north-east of Trig. Station M a phenomenally rich leader was worked 
during 1906 by Hurley and party. The country was faulted, however, and the 
gold-bearing leader could not be found, although some half-dozen other veins were 
prospected, beyond the fault. 

Millerton Mine.- — An adit has been driven into the north bank of the Snowy 
River along the lode-channel. Although the valley- walls have here a considerable 
height, they have been carved for the most part from post-Tertiary gravels, and the 
tunnel is some small unknown depth beneath the old land-surface. Thus the counti-y 
is sti-ongly oxidized throughout, and some 300 ft. fi-om its mouth the adit passes 
into well-consohdated gravel. Two ore-bodies have been developed, of which the 
first, at the mouth of the adit, is only 30 ft. long by 2 ft. wide ; the second starts 
at 250 ft. from dayhght, and is 3 ft. wide, with an unknown length. Winzes have 
been sunk on both ore-bodies, but only to a depth of a few feet, owing to the 
amount of water in the ground. Later a shaft was sunk east of the lode to a 
depth of 170 ft., and a crosscut driven to the lode. So far developments at this 
depth have been disappointing. 



174 

In the writer's opinion this claim is situated too near the edge of the Palaeozoic 
sediments to be beyond the influence of the peripheral faults bounding the block. 
Proofs of faulting were noted on the south bank of the Snowy both above and below 
the lode, while the broken nature of the country and the reef-track in the adit, and 
the fact that the lode-channel has not yet been located to the south of the Snowy, 
are significant. Again the description given the writer of the reef-track in the shaft 
level is strongly suggestive of a lode faulted along its strike. Prospecting should 
be toward the north, as in that direction the ore-channel increases its distance from 
the main fault-zone. 



Table showing Yields from the Big River, Maori Gully, Blackwater, and Paparoa 

Groups of Mines. 



Year 


Big River. 


Various. 


Blackwater. 


Taffy. C 


Jroesus. 


Minerva. 


ended 






























Tons. 


Oz. 


Div. 


Tons. 


Oz. 


Tons. 


Oz. Div. 


Tons. 


Oz. Tc 


ns. 


Oz. 


Tons. 


Oz. 


Mar. 31— 






£ 










£ 














1879 . . 






, , 


*2 


*25 






























1884 . . 










*1,000 


*271 






























1888 . . 


510 


645 






































1889 . . 


335 


443 






































1890 . . 


700 


350 






































1891 . . 










t66 


tl2 






























1892 . . 


1^652 


3,704 






































1893 . . 


1,444 


2,555 


4, '200 


J54 


{44 


























532 


isi 


1894 . . 


2,690 


3,979 


9,900 






























228 


120 


1895 . . 


1,760 


2,560 


4,200 






























1,610 


506 


1896 . . 


3,736 


4,026 


10,800 






























90 


14 


1897 . . 


2,000 


1,983 


1,800 


































1898 . . 


480 


1,011 




































1899 . . 


730 


1,420 


900 


















1 


30 


760 


590 






1900 . . 


1,225 


1,565 


4,800 


'{25 


jis 














275 


153 1, 


092 


865 






Dec. 31— 
































1900 . . 


216 


113 


. , 






11139 


||47 






873 


319 1, 


643 


858 






1901 . . 


75 


30 




• • 




1120 


l|3 






? 


16 


272 


102 






1902 . . 






















180 


24 . 


, 








1903 . . 


340 


453 


ia66 


















303 


66 1, 


000 


242 


10 


4 


1904 . . 


988 


902 
































1905 . . 


920 


879 






















'31 '. 




1 






1906 . . 


2,037 


1,940 


2,333 


















100 


30 . 










1907 . . 


685 


1,059 




















380 


121 . 










1908 . . 


4,851 


7,736 




*ioo 


♦16 


9^69 


4,681 


■ 




320 


Ill . 










1909 . . 


5,434 


6,886 


15^600 






29,955 


16,418 


12,500 


120 


36 . 










1910 .. 


3,040 


4,112 


5,400 






39,192 


23,368 


37,500 


200 


75 . 










1911 .. 


6,913 


7,317 


13,200 






44,038 


23,557 


37,496 




. . 










1912 .. 


7,666 


9,372 


15,600 


§9 


§17 


11,538 


6,844 
















1913 .. 


4,970 


6,995 


14,400 


§20 


§2 


45,053 


20,940 


12,500 














1914 . . 


6,273 


7,467 


9,600 






50,426 


23,400 


12,500 















* Golden Point. 



t National. 



t St. George. 



§ New Discovery. 



Snowy Creek. 



Paparoa Group. 

An area of gi-eywacke forming a part of the Paparoa Eange, and drained by the 
headwaters of MoonUght, Blackball, Ten-mile, and Canoe creeks, is known to contain 
innumerable quartz lodes, many of which are large and have been traced for long 
distances. The streams above mentioned, and especially the first-named, have yielded to 
the alluvial digger large amounts of coarse hackly gold, to which quartz is often attached. 
In the upper basin of Moonlight Creek rich shoad ore was early discovered, and a 
Christchurch company placed an 8-head battery on the ground in 1868, but the lode 
shedding the auriferous quartz was not found, and the ground was soon abandoned. 
Prospecting continued, however, and claims were located over a wide area between 



175 

Moonliglit and Ten-mile creeks; but by 1872 all these bad lapsed. In 1877-78 the 
Moonlight-Blackball area again received attention, but nothing of value was discovered. 

In 1889 the Minerva lode, the outcrop of which in the gorge of Blackball Creek 
had been known for years, was found to be auriferous. A company, registered 
February, 1890, in spite of the enormous difficulties of transport, had erected a 10-head 
mill by 1891. In all about 2,500 tons were crushed for a yield of between 
6 dwt. and 7 dwt. per ton. The lode, which has a west-south-west strike and a 
flat dip to the southward,* varies from 4 ft. to 10 ft. in thickness, and consists of 
nicely laminated quartz. The principal workings are approached by an incline adit 
driven on the dip for a distance of 376 ft., the lower portion of which has a grade 
of 1 in 7 only. Most of the work in connection with the Minerva Claim was done 
in 1894r~95. In the late " nineties " the property was acquired by Mr. Gerald Perotti, 
who from time to time has done a little prospecting on his holding, but without 
meeting with success. At the time of the writer's visit the workings were filled with 
water, and could not be inspected. 

The most promising of the Paparoa group of claims was the Croesus. The ore- 
shoot of this claim was discovered in 1897 by Harry Neilson, who traced the shoad 
from the Ten-mile fall to the prominent outcrop on the very crest of the mountain- 
ridge. A 10-head battery purchased from the Specimen Hill Company was erected 
in 1898, and for several years the returns were satisfactory, and dividends to the 
extent of £719 were paid. In 1902 the company was reconstructed as the Mount 
Paparoa, and in 1904 the claim and plant were purchased by the Garden Gully 
Gold-mining Company. The battery and aerial tram were shifted into the valley 
of the Roaring Meg in 1905. The last work done on the claim was in 1911, when 
No. 4 adit was driven. 

The ore-shoot worked by the Croesus Company had a nearly north-and-south strike, 
an eastward dip of about 35°, and a decided southerly pitch. It had a length of 
about 100 ft., and was from to 2 ft. to 8 ft. wide, with an average stoping width of, 
say, 5 ft. In all, three adits were driven on the shoot, the ore from which in the 
two upper levels yielded 16 dwt. per ton. Mr. T. 0. Bishop, Inspector of Mines, 
informed the writer that a rich leader, occurring about 2 ft. in the hanging-wall, was 
mined with the main ore-body. Below No. 2 adit this leader was lost, and the ore 
later supplied to the mill was unprofitable. The lowest workings on ore are in a 
winze sunk 27 ft. below No. 3, and there the quartz is reported still to show gold. 
No. 4 adit, 284 ft. below No. 3, did not strike ore. A large quartz lode striking 
north-north-east has its outcrop close to that of the Croesus ore-shoot, and numerous 
other quartz lodes also striking north-north-east have been cut in developmental work. 

The Garden Gully lode seems to have been first prospected in 1897, but it was not 
imtil August, 1901, that the Garden Gully Gold-mining Company was registered. The 
battery, erected in 1905 at great expense, crushed for a very brief period the ore 
proving of very low grade, and the company shortly afterwards went into voluntary 
liquidation. Three adits in all were driven, establishing that the lode had a north-north-east 
strike and a steep easterly dip. A large mass of quartz from 9 ft. to 12 ft. thick was 
struck in the lowest adit, but the ore-shoot lay about 20 ft. to the eastward of this, 
and was about 3 ft. in width. The intervening country is decidedly shattered, is 
crossed obliquely by numerous quartz veins up to 3 ft. in thickness, while the ore-body 
itself is broken up into a number of stringers, the whole being contained between solid 
walls. 

The Taffy Claim was first prospected in 1897, and the auriferous leaders were rich 
enough to render crushing by hand in mortars profitable. A company, registered in 

* A spur from the main lode appears oa the creek-bank, and shows a vertical dip. 



176 

January, 1899, erected a 5-liead battery worked by a water-wheel in Ten-mile Creek, 
about 350 ft. below the open-cut workings of the claim. In 1902 and at intervals 
up to the present time the claim has been let on tribute. In 1907 Curtis Bros. 
reopened the claim, and replaced the water-wheel at the battery with a Pelton. 

The writer had no opportimity of visiting the locality, and the following notes are 
supplied by P. G-. Morgan or gleaned from the reports of the Inspector of Mines. The 
ore is extracted from an open-cut which is 2,120 ft. above sea-level, and consists 
of slightly altered greywacke and argillite traversed by numerous leaders and veinlets 
of quartz, one of which is reported to have reached a thickness of 3 ft. The whole 
is oxidized, and the gold is coarse and free. The stock-work is from 35 ft. to 60 ft. in 
width, and strikes in a north-westerly direction, and dips to the north-east. The entire 
mass is shattered by faulting of a later age than the quartz veins, and is completely 
cut off to the southward ; while the writer was informed that the whole rested on a 
flat floor of greywacke, indicating horizontal movement of some sort. The great 
fracture controlling the course of the upper Ten-mile Creek is doubtless connected 
with the dislocations just described. 

The above - mentioned claims were the only ones of the group to reach the 
producing stage. Other ore-shoots, however, have received attention from prospectors, 
and have been proved to be gold-bearing. Such are the Poneke, Sunlight, and Corrie's 
Reward, in the neighbourhood of the Croesus Claim ; the Homeward Bound, next the 
Taffy ; and the Prophet and Deering's Wonder, in the basin of Moonlight Creek. In 
this last locality prospecting operations have been almost continuously carried out 
since 1907. 

A table showing the yields from the Paparoa group of mines is to be found on 
page 174. 

Future Prospects of Lode-mining. 

The future of lode-mining in the Reefton district depends, in the writer's opinion, 
on the exploitation of lodes already known. No doubt other lodes at present unknown, 
which are likely to yield a profit to the miner, outcrop within the subdivision, but 
the number of these is probably not as great as those already known. Since the 
discovery in 1907 of what is known as the " east reef " in the Wealth of Nations 
Mine through the agency of underground diamond drilling, the possibility of the exist- 
ence of parallel lodes near strong fissures has been appreciated. This shoot has been 
followed upward to the great fault above No. 6 level. It cannot be regarded as a 
blind shoot — that is, a shoot that does not reach the surface — for, although its outcrop 
is not definitely known, probably some one of the blocks worked from the adits of the 
original Wealth of Nations should be referred to it. The ore-body discovered in No. 6 
level south of the Blackwater Mine beyond the known limits of the main shoots 
conforms more nearly to the definition of a blind shoot ; but in this case the fissure 
containing it is well known at a higher horizon, where, however, there occurred 
a quartz stringer, unprofitable by reason of its small size. Should this ore-body be 
more than a local enlargement of an attenuated stringer — should it, in fact, continue 
payable in depth — great possibilities are indicated. Mining men hold the opinion, based 
on experience, that the extent of an ore-shoot along a fissure does not vary greatly from 
level to level ; and in conformity with this view little exploitation of a fissure is under- 
taken beyond the narrow limits of the shoot or shoots worked. The occurrence of 
blind shoots is reported from other lode-mining districts ; and a definite local example 
would justify further exploration along fissures already foUowed to considerable depths, 
and much more crosscutting, either by drifts or diamond-drill bores, than is now 



Bulletin N? IS. 




177 

undertaken. Even if blind shoots are altogether absent from the district, as is probable 
on theoretical grounds, too little exploratory work of this nature is carried out at the 
present time. 

At one time or another payable returns have been obtained from more than a 

dozen shoots, the further exploitation of which has been prevented by their being 

cut ofE by faults. In the majority of cases the position was not understood, and 

the efforts made to recover the lost lodes were in consequence misdirected and futile. 

In some instances, two of which occurred in the Fiery Cross Mine, the dislocation of 

the shoots that caused or contributed to 'the abandonment of exploration was evidently 

quite inconsiderable. In such cases as the Caledonian, Golden Fleece, and Golden 

Treasure the difficulties of recovery do not appear to be serious. They are greater 

in respect to the Keep-it-Dark (east shoot), Hercules, and Cumberland, and still more 

is this the case in the Welcome, Kirwan's Eeward, Progress, and Inkerman mines. 

In none of the instances does the writer regard the chances of recovery as hopeless ; 

and the finding of the Wealth of Nations and Energetic shoots beyond fault-zones 

furnish examples of the solving of problems quite as difficult as any of the above. In 

a number of claims the post-mineral fracture seems, from the data available, to strike 

and dip in conformity with the lode. It is probable that in such a case the blocks 

of ore, although they may contain high-grade quartz, will be so small and shattered 

as to be unpayable, while the chances of the fault leaving the lode-fissure within a 

reasonable depth are not good. Examples of this structure seem to be furnished 

by the Painkiller shoots, Anderson's, St. George, and, to a less extent, Millerton 

lodes. 

In the last paragraph no mention was made of the Ajax, Royal, and Keep-it- 
Dark (west) shoots. The two former contain high-grade ore, but the quartz bodies 
are so narrow that, although dividends have been paid, the operations have on the 
whole been barely profitable. If, however, the larger and richer Golden Fleece shoot 
were recovered and worked in conjunction with them, there is little doubt but that 
the ore from them would give a reasonable return on their proportion of the capital 
invested in the development of the whole series. The situation in regard to the western 
shoot of the Keep-it-Dark Claim is somewhat similar. Here the ore-bodies are large, 
and their grade varies on either side of the paying-point ; and while the shoot has 
paid handsome dividends, two companies have exhausted their capital in working it. 
The discovery of the lost portion of either the Hercules or Keep-it-Dark eastern 
shoot, which are both of decidedly higher grade, would allow of the western shoot 
being worked to much greater advantage. The Golden Arch is another lode of which 
the ore up to the present has failed to yield a profit. The shoot, which contains 
high-grade ore, is at least 500 ft. long, but the vein is narrow and the walls hard. 
There is a possibility that by the use of hammer drills in stoping the ore could be 
made to yield a profit. This lode is well worth further prospecting. The surface in 
this locality is masked by gravels, except in the stream-valleys, so that trenching is 
out of the question, and the fissure has been explored only for the 500 ft. driven 
in the low-level adit. The southern end of the drift still shows a stringer of average 
size and tenor, and a like condition is reported to obtain at the northern end. 



ALLUVIAL DEPOSITS. 

Morgan* has divided the auriferous alluvial deposits of the Greymouth Sub- 
division " primarily according to age and secondarily according to character," 



*N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. i:}, 1911, p. 8G. 
12— Beef ton. 



178 

and his classification, with slight modifications, applies to the Reefton Sub- 
division — 

I. Early Tertiary conglomerates. 

II. Middle Tertiary conglomerates. 

III. Late Tertiary conglomerates. 

IV. Pleistocene fluviatile and fluvio-glacial gravels. 
V. Recent deposits — 

{a.) Fluviatile gravels. 

(b.) Marine gravels and sands. 

Early Tertiary Conglomerates. 

These, which are considered to be of marine origin, have, as far as the writer 
knows, been worked for gold neither in the subdivision nor indeed anywhere on the 
West Coast. Prospecting, however, has proved that the precious metal occurs in these 
rocks in the headwater valleys of the Punakaiki and Porarari rivers, and doubtless 
they have contributed a quota to the gold of the recent gravels of those streams. 
The breccia conglomerate which shows such great development in the basin of the 
Freeth River also must contain detrital gold, since there is no other explanation 
possible for the gold of the recent alluvium in Blacksand and Kakapo creeks ; and 
that of Slaty and Komakau creeks has certainly in part a similar origin. 
t 

Middle Tertiary Conglomerates. 

That these rocks are old beach - gravels has been argued on an earlier page,* 
and many facts support this view. Perhaps the most striking is the association 
of marcasite with the gold of these deposits. It is suggested that the sulphide of iron 
has derived its iron from the blacksand originally contained in the beds, the sulphur 
having been extracted from the sulphates of percolating solutions. 

The first discovery of the quartz conglomerate or " cement " here considered was in 
the upper portion of Murray Creek, which as early as 1868 was worked for alluvial 
gold. The gold in the creek-wash was quickly traced to the pyritic sandy con- 
glomerate, in which it is stated to have occurred " like currants in a pudding." 
By 1870 three batteries of iron-shod wooden stamps were at work in Cement Town, as 
the locality was named. These machines were driven by water, of which the supply 
was limited, except during and immediately after rain. The writer was unable to 
ascertain the amount of cement crushed or the length of time over which the inter- 
mittent operations extended. Probably neither was great, the attention of investors 
and prospectors alike being diverted to the more promising field of lode-mining. 

The auriferous conglomerate of Murray Creek has been traced into Lankey and 
Healey creeks, where, in both cases, they have supplied gold to the wash in the 
stream-beds. Other localities that undoubtedly owed the richness of their deposits 
to the degradation of the Miocene conglomerate are Garvey Creek and Golden Gully, 
a small branch of Rainy Creek. Other streams of which it can be confidently said 
that at least part of their detrital gold is so derived are Maori Gully, Devil, Soldier, 
Burke, Painkiller, Flower, and Boatman creeks. The richly auriferous wash of Garden 
Gully, a branch of Moonlight, must also be included. In some localities, "however, 
where the basal conglomerates are extensively developed, the creeks draining from 
the rocks do not contain the colour of gold ; such are Station Creek and other 
streams entering the Waitahu in the neighbourhood. 

* See p. 86. 



179 

Conglomerate beds have also been mined at Boatman, Lankey, and Oriental 
creeks, and on the hill overlooking the Progress battery. At Capleston, Boatman 
Creek, the mining operations were evidently quite inextensive ; and as far as the 
writer could ascertain no crushing plant was erected, and what material was extracted 
was taken from small open-cuts along the steep flanks of the valley. 

At Lankey Creek much more extensive operations have been undertaken. In" 
1879 rich gold was found on the ridge separating the two branches of the creek, 
at which point a powerful fault delimits the " cement," and has shattered its edge. 
The gold was obtained from a slope deposit entangled between great blocks of gold- 
bearing conglomerate. A company formed to mine and crush the conglomerate of this 
locality erected a 10-head battery, and began active operations in 1883. The results, 
however, were unsatisfactory, and the plant was soon shut down. In 1903 another 
systematic attempt was made to work this deposit by the Willis brothers, who erected 
a light 5-head battery and demonstrated its payable nature. In 1906 the claim 
was acquired by the brothers Bolitho, who placed a 10-head battery of heavier type 
on the ground, and attacked the deposit with great energy. Of recent years they 
have added a small air-compressing plant, and use rock-drills in their mining opera- 
tions. The machinery is driven by water-power derived from a small swampy flat at 
the head of Lankey Creek. The conglomerate here lies on the black carbonaceous 
mudstones of the Devonian rocks, in which the main drives are partly driven. About 
2 ft. of the overlying " cement " is removed, and the bulk of the gold is in the 
lower Gin. of this. Marcasite is also present, often in considerable amoimt, and 
water-worn grains of cassiterite may be occasionally observed. Where colours of gold 
are seen they generally rest directly on the basal rock, and their occurrence in the 
quartz pebbles that form the conglomerate is exceedingly rare. The reason for the 
failure of the first attempt to work this deposit is probably to be found in the 
fact that the ore was transported to the mill by a long enclosed shoot, and during 
this journey many of the gold-particles became detached from the matrix and escaped 
through the crevices in the shoot, thus materially reducing the grade of the ore 
treated. 

In 1911 a quartz conglomerate closely resembling that of Lankey Creek was dis- 
covered by a miner named Pulley just north of Cornish Town, on the ground held 
by the Progress Mines. This occurrence has been traced into the adjacent Oriental 
Creek, and is also known to outcrop in the head of Auld Creek. The Progress 
Mines vigorously developed this deposit. Two adits* have been driven, the first of 
which proved part of the conglomerate to have a steep dip to the eastward, while 
at the time of the writer's visit the lower adit had not struck its downward extension. 
On the Cornish Town flat the conglomerate remnant is lying on bleached greywacke 
with approximate horizontality. The steep dip in the same bed in the immediate 
neighbourhood is certainly due to faulting, and the chance of ever getting 
ore in the lower adit is remote. The Progress Mines stripped a portion of the 
" cement," made a connection with their aerial tramway, and crushed a small quantity 
at their mill. The results of this are not available, but presumably were not satis- 
factory, for operations have been suspended. In 1915 a tribute over the workiags 
here considered was let, and a small treatment plant erected in Oriental Creek, 
but the best return was at the rate of only 9s. per ton, and the tribute was soon 
abandoned. 



♦ See plan of Progress Mines, p. 160. 
12*— Reefton. 



180 

Late Tertiaey Conglomerates. 

It is extremely likely that these conglomerates are auriferous, but no definite 
proof of this can be given, for the reason that no gold-bearii^g creek, as far as 
the writer is aware, has its basin entirely withui them. 

Pleistocene Deposits. 

Gravels of this age have in the past yielded a certain amount of alluvial gold to 
the miner, but have played a far more important part in furnishing wealth to gravels 
rewashed from them. The deposits here considered form the " Old Man Bottom " of 
most miners, although a few restrict the term to the schistose conglomerate mentioned 
in the section immediately preceding. McKay believes, and has advanced cogent 
reasons in support of his belief, that these gi-avels occasionally contain sufficient gold 
to render their exploitation profitable. The gi-eat majority of the old diggers, however, 
consider that although the gravels indubitably contain gold, and have furnished their 
derivatives with the bulk of their gold-content, they themselves are of too low a grade 
to pay to work. The writer believes, with McKay, that operations were frequently 
continued in these gravels after the exhaustion of the richer overlying wash, in the 
behef that they formed part of a false bottom. In beds with the structure and 
distribution as irregular as those common to gravel-deposits, the distinguishing of an 
older from a newer layer is often extremely difficult. Formerly the Pleistocene gravels 
stretched uninterruptedly from one end of the Grey-Inangahua graben to the other. 
Now, however, a considerable hiatus exists, at least in the continuity of the gold- 
deposits, between Three-channel Flat and Coal Creek. Farther south an unbroken 
chain of alluvial workings, either in the old gravels themselves or in their direct 
derivatives, may be traced to the southern boundary of the subdivision and for 
many miles beyond it. These workings have been grouped according to locahty, a 
division made for convenience only. 

Three-channel Flat Group. 

Some of the very earliest gold-workings on the West Coast were in Recent gravels 
bordering the BuUer from Inangahua Junction to Lyell. Although these almost certainly 
derived the greater part of their gold-content from the old gravels of which the high 
swampy terrace known as Welshman palrihi is composed, it was not until 1880 that 
payable wash was discovered there by Mcintosh and party, in the gravel resting on 
the bed-rock about 150 ft. below the top of the terrace. The overburden contained too 
little gold to pay to work, was too thick for stripping, and attempts to drive out the 
wash itself met with many difficulties. The ground contained many large stones, was 
very wet, and had such a tendency to run that even by working three shifts it was 
found difficult and dangerous to maintain the openings. No rich ground was struck, 
and one by one the claims had to be abandoned. These ancient deposits, however, 
furnished the gold of the Recent gravels worked in Welshman Creek, and probably 
also the greater part of that contained in the terrace remnants which at lower levels 
chng to the steep hillsides flanking the BuUer from Pensini Creek to the junction of 
the Inangahua, between which points the high terrace is still in great part undestroyed. 

The terraces on the right or western bank of the Buller about four miles below 
Lyell probably derived the bulk of their gold from the same source. In 1901 a 
company — the Lyell Hydraulic Sluicing Company — was formed to work these. The 
initial project was to bring a large race from New Creek, but this somewhat ambitious 
scheme was not carried out, and water was drawn from Pensini Creek. The enterprise 
was not successful, and in 1904 the company was reconstructed as' the New Lyell 



181 

Sluicing Company. Another race at a liiglier level was brougkt in, but the returns 
still being unsatisfactory the claim was let on tribute, and finally the company went 
into liquidation in 1906. The claim and plant was purchased by Mr. A. Welsh, who 
formed the Old Kent Eoad Sluicing Company, a concern which struggled on for a few 
years before collapsing. The trouble in this as well as in many other instances lay 
in the fact that gold was decidedly more sparingly present in the main mass of the 
gravels than in the terrace edge, a condition due to what may be termed residual 
concentration. 

In 1907 a claim situated 600 ft. above the Buller, on the ridge between that river 
and the Dee, and originally worked by Conradsen and party, came into prominence. 
Water was obtained from the Dee Stream, but evidently the returns were unsatis- 
factory, for no mention is made of the claim in the reports by the Inspector of 
Mines after 1908. At the time of the writer's visit in 1913 the claim had been long 
abandoned, and the only point learned was that it was situated in gravels indis- 
tinguishable from those classed here as Pleistocene. The old workings in Donnybrook 
Creek, a small branch of the Dee flowing from the south, are probably in wash which 
derived its gold-content from a continuation of the same gravels. As far as the 
writer knows there are no other workings on the eastern side of the Inangahua graben 
until those of Coal Creek, five miles to the southward, are reached. 

In 1908 Ryan and Alborn worked a claim in Thompson Creek, of which the wash 
was either part of the original Pleistocene gravels or a direct derivative from them. 
Results could not have been satisfactory, as work was stopped in the following year. 

Manuka Flat, a great terrace between the Lyell and Eight-mile creeks, at a height 
of nearly 1,000 ft. above the Buller, on the north side of which it is situated, is closely 
analogous to Welshman pakihi. All the creeks draining from this terrace have derived 
at least part of their wealth from its degradation. Some of them were wonderfully 
rich, and this at a very early date drew the attention of the diggers to the possibility 
of . attacking this great deposit on a large scale. The magnitude of the task of 
bringing in water, even should the wash be found payable, deterred the individual miner, 
and it was not until the early " eighties " that a syndicate was formed to prospect 
the gi-ound by means of adits. The results obtained were unsatisfactory, although by 
no means conclusive, and as far as the writer could learn no further serious attempt 
has been made to ascertain the value of the ground. A few old miners from time 
to time do a little sluicing in the concentrated gravels of the streams draining from the 
terrace. 

Inangahua Junction Group. 

The alluvial-gold workings of this group occur within the broken limestone countiy 
occupying the angle between the Buller and Inangahua rivers, and bounded on the 
west by the Paparoa Range. The deposits, which lie from 400 ft. to 600 ft. above 
the main drainage-channels, were remarkable in that they occurred within caves in 
the limestone. Probably the wash consisted of a reconcentration of the high-level 
Pleistocene gravels, remnants of which still occur in this locality. The workings weie 
in caves along the ridge from Berlin's Bluff to Rose Mount, and the chief deposits 
occurred south of the headwaters of Hard Creek, and near Inangahua Junction. The 
auriferous gravels of the lower valleys of York, Mc Murray, and Fletcher creeks also 
belong to this group, and probably derived their gold from the same source as did 
the wash in the caves. 

Landing Creek Group. 
The Landing Creek group of alluvial workings occurs within the ana that lies 
between Coal and Larry creeks, and that on the west is bounded by the Inangahua 



182 

Kiver and on the east by the Brunner Eange. The auriferous gravels occurring 
along or near the left bank of the Inangahua, from the mouth of Te Wharau Kiver 
to past that of McMurray Creek, link this group with that immediately preceding. It 
is probable also that the gap between the groups on the eastern side of the river is 
bridged by a similar set of ancient gravels, in which the gold is so sparsely distributed 
that even when rewashed no deposits of commercial value have been formed. The 
neighbourhood of Landing Creek early attracted attention, the first stream prospected 
being known as Little or Old Landing Creek. In the " seventies " the numerous gullies 
and creeks appear to have maintained a community of close on a hundred diggers, 
while in the late years of the century many Chinese made a Uving in this locality. 
For more than ten years, however, there has been no miner resident on the field, 
although a little sluicing is still done at odd times by some of the Inangahua Valley 
settlers. 

All the small creeks draining from the ancient gravels have been extensively 
worked, and this in spite of a most inadequate water-supply. The writer is inclined 
to agree with H. A. Gordon,* who examined the locality in 1894, that with an 
abundant water-supply much ground could be profitably sluiced. 

Oronadun Group. 

This important group of alluvial workings is contained in the triangle formed by 
Larry Creek, the Inangahua Eiver, and the edge of the Reefton hills. In the 
early " seventies " the district supported a large population, and some of the operations 
undertaken were of a very extensive nature. This was notably the case in Redman 
Creek, where Lynch and party constructed a tail-race over 2,000 ft. in length. At this 
time great activity was also displayed at Painkiller Creek and the adjoining branches 
of Burke Creek. In 1879 the excellent returns from Italian Gully and Frying-pan 
Creek led to a revival in alluvial mining over the area here considered. In the former 
locahty Raglan, Italian, Burk, and Coal creeks were turned over from one end to ' the 
other ; and one claim dating from this period is still working. The face of wash, of 
typical " Old Man Bottom " appearance, is here over 150 ft. in height, of which 
according to the owner, Mr. Johnston Howell, the lower 16 ft. contains practically all 
the gold. Watsr is drawn from Burk and Little Boatman creeks, and the supply is 
sufficient only for intermittent work. 

In the neighbourhood of Cronadun the small creeks draining from the high terrace 
cut from the Pleistocene gravels have yielded a large amomit of gold. In 1890 a 
project was initiated to tap the mam lead in the wet ground of the flat, and a 
tunnel was started from the bottom of the 20 ft. terrace on which the road here rmis, 
but after driving 1,000 ft. the project was abandoned. In 1893 a second adit designed 
to effect the same purpose was started at a higher level, but after bemg produced nearly 
600 ft. it broke into daylight, and no further attempt was made to work the flat 
until a dredge was placed on Frymg-pan Creek. 

In 1895 a long adit was commenced with the object of prospecting the Al flat, 
an old flood-plam of Redman Creek. This was continued to about 1,500 ft. from 
daylight, and the wash tested by crosscuts, with unsatisfactory results. In subsequent 
years the Al dredge obtained excellent returns in this locality. 

In recent years, outside of Howell's claim, little sluicing has been done. In 1905-6 
Whelan and party worked the ancient gravels of the terrace above Capleston with 
a most inadequate water-supply. In 1913 a little work was being done in the small 
creek joining the Waitahu about a mile below the Boatman's Short Track bridge, 

* Mines Rep., 1896, C.-3, p. 109. 



183 

but these workings were not seen. There is a fair chance* that the Pleistocene gravels, 
from which the recent wash of the streams have derived their gold, would pay to work 
with an abundant water-supply. The providing of this would involve a heavy expend! 
ture ; and the gravels, of which enormous quantities exist between the Waitahu and 
Larry Creek, ought to be carefully and systematically prospected before such a project 
is attempted. 

Soldiers Group. 

This small group of alluvial workings lies within the lower valleys of Soldier and 
Devil creeks, where the Pleistocene gravels and their derivatives have been extensively 
worked. Since 1867, when gold was first found in Soldier Creek, the wash of this 
small stream has been turned over at least three times. The reason for this pro- 
cedure, which is most unusual in the gold-workings of the subdivision, lies in the fact 
that a great quantity of clay was entangled with the gravels. During the " seventies " 
some of the most extensive sluicing operations undertaken up to that time on the 
West Coast were in full swing in Devil, Darkie, and Soldier creeks, where the gravels 
sluiced undoubtedly belonged to the Pleistocene. Although these enterprises have 
been long abandoned, the great shingle-fans resulting are still a prominent feature, 
and until the end of the century a score or so of diggers still had their homes there. 
The swampy flat on which the two branches of Devil Creek unite, from its location 
might be expected to contain a good deal of alluvial gold, but hitherto the various 
attempts to find it have ended in failure. A few years ago it was bored to ascertain 
its value as a dredging claim, with, it is understood, hopelessly luipayable results. 

Squaretown Group. 

This group includes the alluvial workings of lower Slab Hut, Antonio, and Adams- 
town creeks, and has been named after the old township that once stood near the 
present Maimai Eailway-station . This acted as a distributing-centre for the miners 
working in the area now considered, and was the last stoppirig-place on the road 
to Reef ton. The most important workings were in Antonio Creek, which was 
prospected as early as 1867, and for many years maintained a considerable population. 
Most of the claims were near the forks of the stream, but old workings of qmte an 
extensive nature are to be found from Hinau for three miles up, a narrow band of 
unreproductive country lying between. The workings were both on the flood-plain 
of the main stream and in the beds of the branch creeks. On the flood-plain and 
terraces the wash was from 3 ft. to 9 ft. deep, and water was so scarce that even as late 
as 1900 the long-torn was used for separating the gold from the gravel. In Adams- 
town Creek, a small stream emptying into the Mawheraiti to the south of Antonio 
Creek, the chief workings lie about two miles from the road. A mild " rush " occurred 
here about 1894 ; and the creek was extensively mined by European and Chinese 
diggers, who extracted the wash, which had an overburden of about 10 ft., the former 
by driving out and the latter by stripping. In the lower valley of Slab Hut Creek, 
which also comes within the area here under review, the terraces have been exten- 
sively mined, a work said to have been done entirely by Chinese. 

Ikamatua Group. 

This important set of alluvial workings is contained in the lower valleys of Black- 
water and Snowy rivers, and the Creeks draining into them. The streams of this locality 
were first prospected in 1866, and for ten years maintained a population of about five 
hundred. Chinese appeared about 1873, and by 1880 had almost displaced the Europeans. 
Practically the whole of the workings in Mossy Creek, covering an area of about 200 chains 



184 

by 10 chains, as well as those on the flood-plain of Blackwater Creek, are due to 
them. As always, the Chinaman preferred to work on the flat, laboriously stripping 
the wash, which the European miner would drive out. Mossy Creek and the Snowy 
flats have long been deserted, but perhaps fifty diggers are still working at Black- 
water — ^the Europeans on the terraces, the Chinese on the flood-plain. 

Upland Group. 

The alluvial workings hitherto considered have been in the Pleistocene gravels 
of the valley lowlands, and are to be found for the most part within a couple of 
miles of the hills. On the uplands themselves are auriferous deposits which are believed 
to be of approximately the same age, and it is with the workings in these that the 
present group is concerned. The gravels lying on the plateau-like surfaces of the hills 
are coarser than those of the lowlands, and sometimes have a fluvio-glacial or even 
morainic appearance. The bulk of the workings occur between the Inangahua and 
Big Grey rivers ; in fact, there is only one instance, and even this is doubtful, of 
any sluicing having been done outside these limits on wash deriving its gold-content 
from the ancient gravels. The workings referred to are those of Coffee Creek, a small 
ravine draining into Garvey Creek from the right, which rises on a gravel-strewn hill 
of greywacke, from the lodes in which the gold of the wash may well have been 
derived. It may be stated that in addition to the localities specified below, auriferous 
gravel exists practically on every hill of the Reefton uplands, and every little creek 
or gully contains evidences of the ubiquity of the old diggers. 

On Merrijigs the gravels, which crown the hill to a depth of from 80 ft. to 100 ft., 
have been worked from very early times. In 1882 a project was mooted to bring water 
from the Big River to sluice them, but this fell through, and the scanty amount 
to be obtained from the heads of the various small streams rising on the hill itself 
still forms the only supply. The claim for many years was worked by Wills and 
party, and is now owned by Sewell and party, who express themselves as satisfied 
with the returns obtained. Maori Gully and the upper valley of Slab Hut Creek have 
been very extensively worked. It was the prospector Edward Carton who first proved 
the value of the wash in this locality, his discovery being made in 1878 on Carton's 
Terrace, overlooking the stream to which the writer has given his name. Much of the 
ground here was very shallow and readily worked, but nevertheless for many years 
highly remunerative returns were obtained, the bulk of the miners being Chinese. 

The discovery in 1906 of the Birthday reef in the upper valley of the Blackwater 
led to a revival of prospecting in this locality. It was soon found that a great 
amount of alluvial ground existed, and good wages were made for a time by a con- 
siderable number of miners. The number of large boulders contained in the wash, 
and the inadequacy of the water-supplies, have brought about the abandonment of 
most of the claims, and in 1914 only White's was being worked. 

Granville Group. 

The workings of this group are within and south of the great bend of the Grey 
River, and extend beyond the boundary of the subdivision to Napoleon Hill, which 
lies about two miles southward. On its flanks Mosquito, Noble, Half-ounce, and 
Orwell creeks, all richly auriferous, have their sources. In this group may also be 
included the inextensive workings on Maiden Creek, a branch of Craigieburn, which 
enters the Grey from the west opposite Totara Flat. From the circumstance that 
the first " rush " was a " duffer," the main stream, which subsequent work proved one 
of the best on the West Coast, owes its name. The locality was prospected in 
1866, and for nearly ten years supported a population of from five hundred to eight 



185 

hundred diggers. By 1875 much of the easily worked ground had been exhausted, and 
the miners were directing their attention to the creek-beds, which by the aid of 
water-wheels and pumps were successfully worked. Then came the " rush " to Kumara, 
which drained the district of many of its most energetic members, some of whom, 
however, returned in a few years. Gradually the claims were worked out, while 
the exploitation of others was checked by the accumulation of tailings. The popu- 
lation diminished, until in the early " nineties " only a hundred and fifty remained, 
while in 1914 the old townships of Nobles and G-ranville were all but deserted. 

ti the Waipuna basin the bulk of the very extensive workings are in Mosquito 
and Noble creeks, where terraces about 100 ft. above the stream-levels have yielded 
the principal returns. The main stream below the junction of these creeks was too 
gorgy to work, and hence in 1888 a tunnel, designed to divert the stream, was 
started from the Big Grey, but unfortunately was driven at too high a level to 
efEect this purpose. 

In 1891 the Duffer's Creek Gold-mining Company started to work the flat of 
the creek of that name, much of which had been hitherto imtouched owing to the 
lack of fall for the tailings. The method adopted was to sluice the gravels into 
a well, from which the larger stones were lifted 70 ft. by a bucket elevator, while 
the water and finer material were carried off through an underground tail-race. Some 
of the groimd worked had already been driven out, nevertheless the company were 
fairly successful for several years. 

In 1895 a scheme for bringing in water from Randall Creek, a tributary of the 
Ahaura, or alternately from Haines Creek, a branch of Allen Water, which itself flows 
to the Big Grey, was mooted. A survey was made, but the almost complete failure, 
from a commercial point of view, of the Nelson Creek race no doubt prevented this 
enterprise being carried further. 

In the early years of the century several dredges were built to work the stream- 
beds of this locality, but none was financially successful. After the failure of the 
Sullivan's Lead dredge Baybutt and party took up the claim, and, having acquired 
enough minor water-rights to ensure a fair water-supply, have up to the present 
obtained most satisfactory results. 

Moonlight Group. 

This group, on the western bank of the Grey, includes nearly all the alluvial 
workings that occur along the base of the Paparoa Range from Komakau Creek to 
the southern boundary of the subdivision. They penetrate into the momitains along 
Moonlight Creek ; and as ancient gravels are here extensively developed, the workings, 
although they yielded gold of a coarse hackly nature, have been included with 
those deriving their gold from Pleistocene deposits. For many years this localitv 
was one of the most prosperous alluvial-mining centres on the West Coast, and a 
little work is still going on in Moonlight, Shellback, and Garden Gully creeks, while at 
Healy Gully, just without the subdivision, a large sluicing claim was in active opera- 
tion when visited in 1913. 

The first discovery of gold in this district lies to the credit of George Moonlight, 
and was made early in 1866. The population was maintained for many years, mild 
" rushes " taking place to Shellback Creek in 1888, to Garden Gully in 1890, and to 
Stewart and Dougall terraces, in the same locality, in 1892. 

The Republic Sluicing Company in 1898 started work at Healy Gully, where 
sluicing in a small way had already been in progress for about twenty years. A 
race, the construction of which was subsidized by the Government, supplied water 
from the Roaring Meg to several small private claims, as well as to the claim of 



186 

the parent company. Operations were fairly successful until 1906, when the claim was 
let on tribute. Slips on the race gave a great deal of trouble, and the claim was 
finally taken over by T. Jones and party, who were energetically working it during 
1913. 

In 1900 a scheme for the bringing-in of water for the sluicing of Shetland Terrace, 
mider which name the pakihi lyiiig between Moonlight and Garden Gully creeks is 
kiaown, was mooted. A company was formed, and a race surveyed to tap the head 
of Moonlight Creek. This proved too great an undertaking for the finances of the 
company, and the race stopped at Fenton Creek. Sluicing was commenced in 1903, 
but the water-supply (from Fenton Creek) proved inadequate, and the returns were 
not satisfactory. In 1906 a reconstruction took place ; a siphon was placed across 
the main Moonlight gorge, and the water from Liverpool Creek used. The results 
were still unsatisfactory, and the company closed down in 1909. 

Blackball Group. 

That portion of the basm of Blackball Creek within the subdivision contains 
high-level terraces corresponding with Shetland, Stewart, and Dougall terraces of 
the Moonlight basin. Similarly the ancient gravels of the lowlands worked at Mont- 
gomerie Terrace and Ford Creek correspond with the gravels from which the gold 
of Shellback, Caledonian, and Baxter creeks was derived. Upper Blackball was 
prospected very early in the history of the Coast, and several large nuggets were 
there discovered, but the population at no time seems to have been more than forty. 
In 1886 the prospects of the Minerva Company looked bright. A tunnel was driven 
through the saddle at the head of the creek, by which the Roaring Meg could be 
diverted ; a race giving an ample supply of water was constructed, and sluicing com- 
menced. The ground was from 50 ft. to 100 ft. in depth, of which perhaps the lower 
20 ft. was payably auriferous. More than half the deposit, however, consisted of 
enormous boulders up to 40 tons in weight, which had to be broken up by blastuig. 
The company was reconstructed as the Roaring Meg Sluicing Company in 1897, of which 
Mr. G. Perotti, of Greymouth, held a controllmg interest. Work continued with 
many interruptions till 1906, the claim during part of this time being let on tribute. 
A few miners still work on the terraces and, during dry weather, in the creek-bed, 
but otherwise the place is deserted. 

Recent Auriferous Deposits not clearly derived from Older Alluvium. 

Fluviatile Gravels. 

The bulk of the alluvial workings hitherto considered have been in gravels of 
Recent age. These have, however, so obviously derived their wealth, in great part, 
from older sedimentary deposits that it was deemed advisable not to separate them. 
Under the present section will be considered only those Recent fluviatile deposits 
that have not already been mentioned. 

At Old Diggings, near Berlin's, the principal workings are on the north bank 
of the river, and only a small portion of the auriferous ground occurs within 
the Reefton Subdivision. Perhaps the largest concern that ever operated here was 
the Wellington Gold-mining Company. Their claim was situated just within the 
subdivision, and the wash consisted of the Recent gravels of the 80 ft. erosion period. 
Sluicing commenced in 1899, the water being drawn from Lake Rahui. Returns 
were unsatisfactory, and after struggling along for a few years, during which for 
a part of the time the claim was let on tribute, the company in 1903 went into 
Uquidation. 



187 

There is a small group of workings near the lower forks of Larry Creek, which 
extend along the valleys of Bateman and Drysdale creeks until these become too 
gorgy to be sluiced. These workings were deserted even in 1882 when McKay* 
visited this locality. Only the creek-beds and the lowest terraces have been worked, 
and the wash must have derived its gold-content directly from the lodes that are 
here known to traverse the greywackes. It may be pointed out that payable auriferous 
quartz was not discovered in this locahty till 1896, after the veiy existence of these 
alluvial diggings had been almost forgotten. 

The beaches of the Big G-rey between the Clarke and Alexander streams have 
been worked for gold with fair success. Not a colour can be obtained in the gravels 
of the main river above the confluence of the latter stream, and it is a fair inference 
that what gold exists in this locality has come down the Alexander. The lower 
course of this stream is so gorgy, and its upper so torrential, as to render its bed 
unworkable. Quartz lodes were observed in Absalom Creek, and from time to time 
prospecting parties explore this district. Nothing of value has ever been found ; 
and the heavy veneer of gravels which obscures all outcrops save in the larger 
stream-beds renders the chance of finding lodes well nigh hopeless. 

Marine Gravels. 

The occurrence and disti-ibution of the beach gravels and sands belonging to 
the four most prominent strand-lines have already been sufficiently indicated on 
earlier pages. All these deposits contain blacksand and gold to a gi-eater or less 
degi'ee, and all have received attention from the alluvial miner. 

Charleston was prospected in 1866, and shortly afterwards the Brighton Beach 
leads and the old marine sands to the southward were discovered. The strip of 
beach between Brighton and St. Kilda, and the wave-cut terraces backing it, were 
exceptionally remunerative, and many small fortunes were made. It was probably 
the discoveries at Charleston and Brighton that induced the diggers from Greymouth 
to try their luck along the beach northward ; at any rate, the Seventeen-mile Beach 
was prospected at about the same time as Brighton. The discoveries here, however, 
were not nearly so encouraging as farther north, and for many years the bulk of 
the mining was carried on between the tide-marks only. In September, 1879, R. H. 
Wessels discovered a rich lead, afterwards known as the Barrytown lead, along the 
base of the mountains about a mile from the shore. The difficulties of transport 
were very great, and it may be for this reason that this field was not worked 
out as quickly as many others. Within late years practically the only gold-workings 
carried on in the coastal region of the subdivision are those of the hydrauHc elevating 
claim at Barrytown, and even beach-combing has almost ceased. 

The marine gravels of the 500 ft. strand-line in the Reefton Subdivision have 
received little attention. This is due to the facts that they are now greatly denuded, 
and lie at a height to which it is difficult to bring an efficient supply of water, 
rather than to their lack of gold. G-ravels of this strand-line have been prospected 
on the ridge between Deverey and Canoe creeks, on the track over the Gentle Annie 
Rocks, and again in the basin of the Four-mile Creek. In the BuUer-Mokihinui 
Subdivision the gravels here considered are much more generously developed, and 
have been worked to a considerable extent in the Charleston district. 

The gravels and sands of the 200 ft. strand-hne have in the past been of great 
commercial importance on the West Coast, having fnrnislied a great amount of 
alluvial gold in the Builer-Mokihinui, Reefton, and Greymouth subdivisions. Welsh- 



* Verbal communication. 



188 

man Terrace at Brighton, and its northern continuation, Kelly Terrace near St. 
Kilda, belong here, as do certain relatively '^unimportant and ill-defined terraces 
between the Fox River and the Gentle Annie Rocks. From the Punakaiki southward 
past Barrytown these deposits have been extensively worked, the lead being cut 
up by numerous small creeks into what are known as terraces. From north to 
south these are Blue Jacket, Albion, Scotchman, Hibernian, Tipperary, Parnell, Niagara, 
von Moltke, Buckley, Wilson, Geordie, Canoe Creek, Morgan, Mcllroy, Barry, Kumara, 
and Brunnerton terraces. Of these Canoe Creek was worked years before any of the 
others. In many of these the wash was driven out, although ground-sluiciiig appears 
to have been the favourite method of exploitation. Light crushing batteries were 
occasionally used, as at the von Moltke Terrace in 1905. 

In 1897 the Waiwhero Sluicing Company began operations at Buckley Tei-race, 
where the wash, lying at £. height of 250 ft. above sea-level, was from 12 ft. to 
30 ft. thick, under a cover of from 5 ft. to 25 ft. of barren gravel. The ultimate 
chief water-supply was intended to be obtained from Canoe Creek, but at this time 
sluicing was carried on intermittently by means of water from several small streams. 
The company was much hampered by litigation, and by the difficulties met with in 
completing its main water-race across the fault-zone occurring about four miles from 
the mouth of Canoe Creek. A reconstruction took place in 1899, the new company 
being known as the Waiwhero Sluicing and Dredging Company, the intention being 
to sluice the wash on Buckley Terrace and place a dredge on a claim near the 
mouth of Canoe Creek. The main race, six and a half miles long, was completed 
in 1901, and provided water at Buckley Terrace and the beach claim under heads 
of 400 ft. and 600 ft. respectively. The dredging scheme was abandoned, and a 
face opened for hydraulic sluicing and elevating on the beach claim, where the 
wash was found to be 70 ft. in depth. Sluicing was steadily prosecuted, and was 
for a time profitable. In 1905, however, the claim and plant were purchased by 
Mr. Andrew McKay, who worked the beach claim with fair success for several years. 

The gravels and sands of the 80 ft. and recent strand-lines have been worked 
from the earliest times, and their annual yield, though now greatly reduced, is still 
considerable. In the old days it was the numerous diggers scattered along the shore, 
but chiefly on the Seventeen-mile and Brighton beaches, who maintained the output, 
while at present and for the past fifteen years the hydraulic elevating claims have 
been the chief producers. 

The first of these claims to be worked was owned by the Barrytown Flat Gold- 
mining Company, and is situated on the coastal plain north of Baker Creek. Opera- 
tions were commenced in 1896, and a race giving 600 ft. of fall was brought in from 
Baker Creek. Sluicing started in 1898, but the returns were barely payable, and the 
claim was taken over by Messrs. White and McKay in 1899. These gentlemen 
increased the spread of the gold-saving tables from 300 square feet to 800 square feet, 
and brought in water from Fagin Creek. The claim is still working, and yielding 
profitable returns. The wash at present dealt with is about 12 ft. thick, and consists 
of quartz sand containing numerous layers of blacksand and occasional pebble-bands, 
the whole overlaiti by a layer of recent peat. The sand is broken down by hydraulic 
power, and elevated in the usual manner about 65 ft. before being distributed over 
the tables. 

In 1897 the Barrytown Flat No. 2 Company was formed to work a beach claim 
about three miles north of that just described. The wash was here 25 ft. deep, and 
the claim was worked by water drawn from Canoe Creek. Operations were not 
profitable, however, and the claim was abandoned in 1900. 



189 

Another equally unfortunate venture was undertaken by the Pactolus Sluicing 
Company. The claim extended about a mile along the narrow coastal plain southward 
from the Fourteen-mile BlufE. Water was drawn from the Twelve-mile and Fourteen- 
mile creeks, the race from the Twelve-mile being two miles long and giving 400 ft. 
of fall, while that from the Fourteen-mile Creek was a quarter of a mile long and 
gave 500 ft. of pressure. Sluicing was commenced late in 1899, and ceased in June, 
1900, the ground being found unpayable. 

All these, companies had great diflSculties to overcome, the most pressmg of which 
were the supplies of timber and piping. It might be thought that no trouble would 
be experienced in obtaining suitable timber, but the trees growing on the coastal 
plain and range-front are small and twisted, and do not furnish planking suitable 
for fluming. McKay and White have a small sawmill in connection with their claim, 
but the great bulk of the timber used by the above-mentioned companies had to 
be rafted from Greymouth. The pipes also had to make this hazardous journey, 
since the only road connecting Barrytown with Greymouth is in part across a loose 
gravel beach, through which heavy loads can be dragged only with the greatest 
difficulty. The constructing of the races proved very costly, owing to the steepness 
of the spurs not having permitted the accumulation of clay and gravel, and it was 
found necessary to cut benches in the sidelings on which to rest the fluming to carry 
the water. Another difficulty lay in saving the gold, which, like that of all marine 
placers, is very fine, but this was overcome by greatly increasing the spread of the 
gold-saving tables. 

The Source or the Alluvial Gold. 

The writer in the preceding pages has endeavoured to bring out the fact that 
as far as the Eeefton Subdivision is concerned the gold of the Eecent gravels, which 
have furnished much the greater part of the alluvial gold so far won, has had its 
immediate source in the deposits of Pleistocene age. These in turn derived their 
wealth from the basal beds of the Miocene and from the lodes. The ultimate source 
of all the detrital gold is, of course, the lodes traversing the Palaeozoic sediments. 
The data available do not permit of even the roughest apportioning of the amount 
of gold furnished to the Pleistocene gravels respectively by the Miocene conglomerates 
and the quartz veins. This, however, is not a vital point in the discussion that 
follows, since the Tertiary conglomerate beds were laid down on a sinking shore, and 
it is extremely improbable that the gold they contain had travelled far from its point 
of origin. This is confirmed by the fact that the Miocene deposits are richly 
auriferous only where adjacent to lode-bearing areas, and where resting on granite 
or gneiss have given rise to gravels that carry no trace of gold. In the Reef ton 
Subdivision a similar condition obtains in respect to the Pleistocene deposits. Gravels 
of this age extend right across the Grey-Inangahua graben, but it is only where they 
abut against the Aorere rocks and the Miocene conglomerates, where these latter 
overlie, that the rewash from them has been rich enough to work. As the distance 
from the older rocks increases, so does the extent of the alluvial workings — ^that 
presumably are in proportioii to the amount of payable wash — decrease. This is 
well seen near Eeefton, where the workings farthest from the Palaeozoic rocks are 
thoie close to the railway-tmmel ; westward of this inextensive alluvial patch 
prospectors report only an occasional colour in the creeks draining the great mass 
of Old Man gravels of this locality. And so it is throughout the subdivision, the 
Pleistocene gravels and the wash from them are rich in gold only when the former 
have derived their material from Aorere rocks or from Tertiary conglomerates in 
close proximity to Aorere rocks. Thus along the eastern side of the graben gold- 



190 

workings are entirely absent northward from the Freeth Eiver to Inangahua Junction, 
and a like condition prevails on the eastern side between Coal Creek and the Dee 
Stream. On the other hand, southward from the Freeth River and Coal Creek are 
to be found unbroken chains of workings that extend far beyond the limits of the 
subdivision. Similarly, the workmgs of Welshman pakihi and the neighbourhood 
are in close proximity to the lode-area of New and Lyell creeks. It is impossible 
to account for these facts of distribution on the ground of coincidence ; and the 
conclusion is inevitable that the alluvial gold of the Reef ton Subdivision, whether 
contained in the Tertiary conglomerate beds. Pleistocene or Recent gravels, has been 
derived from the lode-areas now exposed at the surface. 

As various writers have pointed out, the main lead of alluvial gold on the West 
Coast continues in a nearly unbroken curve from north of Reef ton to Ross, a 
distance in all of ninety miles. Along it occur mming townships, of which the 
names are household words to such of the old diggers as still remain. In the 
Reefton Subdivision there are two meridionally disposed major leads, separated by 
zones of barren ground of variable width. The western starts at Coal Creek, follows 
the edge of the slates and greywackes till Slab Hut Creek is reached, south of which 
it leaves the old rocks, and may be traced by the workings in the lower valley of 
Antonio Creek and by those in Adamstown, Mossy, and Duffer creeks. The second 
lead, which may be said to begin on Merrijigs Hill, continues as a broad belt 
through Maori Gully and the upper valleys of Slab Hut and Sawyer creeks into the 
basin of the Big River, where Cariboo and numerous other small creeks have been 
worked ; thence into Blackwater Creek, the Snowy River, and across the Big Grey 
to Napoleon Hill. This lead first touches the lowlands near the forks of Antonio 
Creek, but as the workings are followed southward they gradually encroach more 
and more on the gravels filling the graben. Each of the two major leads described 
is made up of minor leads, which, as far as can be ascertained, preserve a general 
parallelism with the disposition of the main lead. 

It has been stated on a preceding page that the Pleistocene gravels occupy the 
floor of an ancient valley, the infilling of which was brought about by regional depres- 
sion. Much of the material used by the streams in their work of aggradation is believed 
to have been of glacial origin, and the gravels contain a considerable amoimt of clay 
and sand. Owing to the depression of the land and the vast amount of spoil 
available, deposition was very rapid, and, once the waste reached the rift-valley in 
which the river was aggrading, little opportunity was afforded the streams for assorting 
it or concentrating the gold. Thus the lower portions of the gravels as a whole 
contain gold to a very small extent, although close to lode-containing areas of rock 
the amount may be of commercial importance. As the rivers became graded the 
sorting of the spoil from the hills was more efficiently performed, a concentration 
of gold took place along the beds of the streams, and where conditions were peculiarly 
favourable workable gold-deposits were formed. It is believed that the main gold- 
lead of the West Coast marks the position of the bed of the Pleistocene river on 
its aggraded plaiii. The two parallel leads of the Reefton Subdivision were produced 
either by an alteration of the course or by the branching of the main stream. 

McKay, in a report entitled " Geological Explorations of the Northern Part 
of Westland,"* elaborates a thesis first suggested by Hector,t that the Old Man 
Bottom gravels of the West Coast and the Moutere gravels of the Nelson district 
were deposited by a great river that, rising in mountains lying to the westward of 
Hokitika, flowed north-eastward and discharged into Blind Bay. Gravels occur only 

* Mines Rep., C.-3, 1893, pp. 132-86, especially p. 174. 

t Prog. Rep. of the G.S. of N.Z. during 1866-67, 1867, p. 13. 



191 

in the upper and lower portions of this hypothetical valley, its central portion now 
being occupied by a series of mountain -ranges that are traversed by no valley-system. 
It is true that a remarkable north-east-trending depression, first noted by von Haast,* 
crosses these mountains ; but this, which is quite narrow, bears not the faintest 
resemblance to any part of a great valley-system, and is, moreover, primarily of 
structural and not of erosional origin .f McKay was well aware of the difficulties 
attending the adoption of this hypothesis, and does not minimize them. The writer 
has no intention of discussing this subject. His views concerning the structural, 
geological, and physiographical features of the subdivision have already been set forth, 
and are regarded as sufiicient disproof of the above-mentioned hypothesis. Indeed, 
the theory seems to have suggested itself to McKay because of the impossibility of 
deriving the alluvial gold of North Westland from the Alpine chain. There can be 
no doubt that the lode-beariiig areas lying respectively at the northern end and on 
either side of the Inangahua-Grey rift-valley are competent sources of supply for all 
the auriferous alluvium contained within the area described. The gold in the leads 
southward of the Reefton Subdivision is believed to have been derived chiefly from 
the same sources, although other small areas of lode-bearing rocks have locally greatly 
enriched the gravels. The marine deposits of the coast-front obtained their wealth 
from the detrital gold carried to the sea by the streams to the southward, and 
transported by the waves northward along the coast. 

GOLD-DREDGINO. 

Dredging in the Reefton Subdivision will be considered under four locality groups — 
viz., the middle Buller, the Boatman Creek, the Mawheraiti, and the Grey valley 
groups. Dredges may be divided into river and paddock dredges, according as the 
water in which they float constitutes part of the main stream of a river or occupies 
a paddock or lagoon excavated by the dredge itself from an alluvial flat. It is 
obvious that this distinction must not be too closely pressed, as during work a dredge 
may excavate a paddock in a river-flat, and may be entirely cut off by the accumula- 
tion of its own tailings from the stream in which it started operations. Again, dredges 
may be divided into elevator and sluice-box dredges, a classification based on the mode 
of disposal of tailings adopted by the designer. 

Historical Account. 

Middle Buller Valley GrowpX — The first bucket-dredge to operate in the Reefton 
Subdivision was built in 1891 by the Whitecliffs Company (registered 19th Jiuie, 1890) 
near Berlin's. Dredging was then in its infancy, and it is little wonder that the dredge 
failed to pay expenses. In 1892, after a few months run, it was stranded owing to 
a flood ; and the company, disheartened by failure, sold it to Smith and paity for 
the paltry sum of £40. The dredge was raised and renamed the Cocksparrow, and 
a start was made at the same place where the company had obtained little or no 
result. The returns were favourable, expenses and more than wages being paid. Since 
it was believed that better ground existed farther up the Buller, the dredge was removed 
to above the junction of the Inangahua. Returns continued payable, and the Cock- 
sparrow Dredging Company was registered on the 28th April, 1894. Till 1897 the 
dredge was constantly at work, winning nearly £10,000 worth of gold, but ])aying 
only £525 in dividends. The river-beaches from Inangahua Junction to a mile beyond 



* Haast, J. von. : Rep. of a Top. and Geol. Explor. of the West Districts of the Nelson Prov. N.Z., 1861, 
p. 70. 

t N.Z. (}.S. Bull. No. U, 1908, p. 72. % See also N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17, 1915, pp. 27, 28. 



192 

the Dee were worked with varying results, but, as a whole, operations cannot be 
said to have been successful, and in 1897 the dredge was sold for £1,000 to a working- 
party, and rechristened the Exchange. Under the new name considerable success was 
achieved, and in 1898 the machine was acquired for £2,000 by a syndicate, which, no 
doubt aided by the success of the Otago dredges, were able to dispose of claim and 
dredge to the Consolidated Company (registered 18th January, 1899). The dredge 
received an extensive overhaul, but the returns were unsatisfactory, and in the beginning 
of 1901 the company was womid up and the machine disposed of to the Old Diggings 
' Gold-dredgmg Company, the possessors of a claim below Berlin's. The dredge was 
old and out of date, and the new owners had great trouble owing to frequent 
breakdowns and consequent loss of time. Although the ground was good the results 
were unprofitable, and in 1903 the dredge was sold to Hansen and party, and the 
company liquidated. For a couple of years the returns were satisfactory, after which 
the old trouble of breakdowns caused the final abandonment of the dredge in 1905. 

The Mokoia dredge, owned by the Mokoia Grold-dredging Company (registered 
21st October, 1899), started work on the 13th October, 1900, on a claim about a 
mile above Three-channel Flat. The dredge had only been at work a few days when 
a heavy flood carried it a considerable distance down the river, leaving it high and 
dry on a beach. It was three months before a start could agaia be made ; but after 
this misfortune work was steadily carried on for three years, generally with fair and 
sometimes with excellent results, enabling dividends to the extent of nearly £2,000 to 
be paid. The next three years were poor and unprofitable, and in 1906 the dredge 
was bought by De Filippi and party, who worked it with satisfactory results until 
the end of 1907, when they sold it to a Greymouth syndicate. The dredge, as the 
New Mokoia, was shifted to opposite Flaxbush Creek, and mitil 1909 worked with fair 
results. In 1910 returns were unsatisfactory, and in 1911 the dredge was dis- 
mantled. 

The Buller Junction Grold-dredging Company was registered on the 6th June, 1899, 
and the dredge was completed on the 28th January, 1901. Work was conmienced 
in the Buller River about 20 chains above the junction of the Inangahua, and the 
returns were profitable for more than three years, enablmg £3,437 10s. to be distributed 
in dividends. This dredge obtamed in one week, during 1902, 234 oz., the record 
return for the Buller River. The returns during 1904 were poor, and the company 
went into liquidation in December of that year, the dredge being sold. Shortly after- 
wards a flood carried it four miles down the river, and at a point about a mile below 
Whitecliffs the new owners, Smeaton and party, began work. For six years work 
continued, the dredge being shifted to Liangahua Junction and back again to Rock- 
lands. Early in 1913 work ceased, and the dredge was dismantled. Mr. T. Hubert 
Lee, of Reefton, the secretary of the syndicate, informed the writer that the returns 
barely recouped the party on their outlay. 

The Rocklands Beach Gold-dredging Company was registered on the 1st September, 
1899, but did not start work until late in 1901. Much time was lost owing to frequent 
breakdowns ; returns were never more than moderate, and no dividends were paid. In 
1905 the company went into liquidation, and the dredge was sold. From 1906 to 1912 
the dredge was worked near Berlin's with fair results by Harrison and Gilstrom. Early 
in 1913 returns became unsatisfactory, and the dredge was dismantled. 

The Premier Gold-dredging Company was registered on the 9th March, 1900, and 
work was commenced early in December, 1901, on the claim below Inangahua Junction. 
Returns were moderate, enabling one small dividend to be paid. Li 1904 the company 
was wound up and the dredge sold to Hansen and Dellavedova, who moved it 
with great difficulty to Three-channel Flat. During 1905-6 the dredge was worked 



193 

with fair results, although much time was lost through breakdowns. Work was &ially 
stopped toward the end of 1906, and the dredge dismantled. 

The Welcome Gold-dredging Company was legistered on the 5th May, 1900, and the 
dredge was finished early in December, 1901. During 1902 returns were moderately 
profitable, but later results were so pooi' that the company went into liquidation, and the 
dredge was sold in 1904 and dismantled. The claim was about a mile and a half below 
Inangahua Junction. 

Feddersen's Gold-dredging Company was registered on the 5th March, 1901, and 
the dredge started operations on the 28th December, 1902, near the lower end of the 
claim at the great bend of the Buller below Lyell. Work was continued for a few 
months, but the results being unpayable the dredge was shut down. Soon after it 
was left high and dry by a flood, and remained stranded for nearly a year. In June, 
1904, the dredge was shifted to the mouth of New Creek, and paid dividends to its 
owners, the New Feddersen's Gold-dredging Company (registered 1st August, 1904). 
During 1905-6 returns were moderate only, and in 1907 the company went into 
liquidation. 

Boatman Creek Group. — The first dredge in the basiir of Boatman Creek was built 
by the Reeves Proprietary Gold-dredging Company (registered 19th October, 1899), 
and commenced work in November, 1900. The ground was payable, and a dividend 
was declared in 1901 ; but in later years frequent breakages, due primarily to the 
fact that the dredge was too light for the gromid, made returns barely balance expenses. 
In 1903 the machine was strengthened, and another dredge, the Merrimac, brought from 
the Kawarau in Otago, was re-erected on the claim. The results obtained, however, 
were still disappointing, and in 1906 the company was wound up and the plant and 
freehold claim sold to Messrs. Hessey, Cameron, and Tacon. Under the new manage- 
ment the Merrimac was repaired and remodelled, and Avork was started agaui in the 
beginning of 1908. Returns were consistently and highly remunerative till June of 1913, 
when the dredge sank while at work. Efforts at raising ended in failure, and it became 
a total wreck. Another machine is now in course of erection, and will, it is expected, 
soon be in commission. 

The Al Gold-dredging Company (registered 13th November, 1899) began active 
work on the 6th June, 1901, on Redman Creek, a branch of Boatman Creek. Very 
fair returns were obtained, and for three years dividends were paid. In 1904 it was 
found necessary to renew the pontoons, which were in a very bad state. Later returns 
were unsatisfactory, and in 1906, after being run at a loss for several months, the 
dredge was sold to a working-party, and the company went into liquidation. The 
dredge continued at work almost constantly with moderate results until 1909, when, 
the returns becoming poorer, it was dismantled. 

The Boatman's Creek Gold-dredging Company (registered 28th August, 1902) started 
work late in 1903 in Boatman Creek, near the junction of Burk Creek. The leturns 
obtained by the company were unsatisfactory, and the dredge was let on tribute. 
In 1905 it sank, but was afterwards raised and worked by Coghlan and party neai- 
the junction of Redman Creek. Only moderate results were obtained, and in 1910 
the dredge was sold, dismantled, and removed to Coromandel. 

In 1910 a dredge was built in Frying-pan Creek near Cronadun. Tiie intention 
was to work Frying-pan Flat and the valleys of several small streams discharging 
into the creek to as far as Due North Creek. Returns, never more than moderate, 
became poorer in 1913, and the dredge was shut down in 1914. 

Mawheraiti Group. — Dredging in the Mawlieraiti basin has been more successful 
than in other parts of the subdivision. A dredge built by the Greymouth Lagoons 
Gold-dredgiiig Company began work in August of 1902 in Red Jack Creek, a sm.vll 

13 — Heefton. 



194- 

branch of the Blaokwater River, but owing to the patchy nature of the ground and 
a variety of other causes, of which breakdowns and lack of water were the chief, 
it barely paid working-expenses. In 1904 it was acquired by the Ikamatua Gold- 
dredging Syndicate, but no better success was achieved. In 1907 the Worksop Company 
purchased the dredge and re-erected it on Antonio Creek. 

The Blackwater River Gold-dredging Company, registered on the 27th April, 1900, 
did not complete its dredge until the end of January, 1903. Handsome returns have 
been won, and over £12,000 paid in dividends. Just after Christmas, 1913, the dredge 
sank at its moorings, but has since been raised and again put iato commission. 

The Slab Hut dredge was originally the Kangaroo Creek dredge, which was 
removed to the neighbourhood of Tawhai Railway-station and recommissioned towards 
the end of 1904. Till 1908 returns were consistently payable, but after this the heavy- 
wash strained the machinery to such an extent that breakdowns became frequent. 
The company went into liquidation in 1909, and sold the dredge to a private syndicate. 
Subsequently the claim was worked intermittently by various owners, without much 
success. In 1914 a strong syndicate, of which Messrs. Hessey and Cameron are members, 
acquired the dredge, overhauled the machinery, fitted larger buckets, and installed a new 
boiler. This enterprise quickly demonstrated that the wash, when attacked by a 
sufficiently powerful dredge, was highly payable. 

Antonio Creek dredge started in January, 1907, near the head of Antonio's Flat. 
The claim had been bored before the building of the dredge, and the results were 
considered satisfactory. NevertKeless the returns as a whole were unpayable, and 
in 1908 the dredge was taken over by the mortgagees, who, after working the claim 
with no better result for a few months, sold it for re-erection at Frying-pan Flat. 
The difficulty in this case was the trees which had been felled by the early diggers, and 
subsequently covered over by the tailings from their claims on the terraces. 

The Worksop Gold-dredging Company (registered 20th March, 1907) had its dredge 
in commission by the beginning of 1908. Operations began in Antonio Creek at a point 
about a mile and a half above the junction with the Mawheraiti, and have been 
extended for some distance into and along the flats of this latter stream. From the 
start this dredge has been a conspicuous success, and, although expensive to run (costing 
from £100 to £120 per week), had yielded such returns as permitted the distribution 
of £41,850 in dividends by the end of 1914. The company has taken up a further 
area in addition to its original holdings, and is building a second dredge. 

The Murray's Freehold Gold-dredging Company is working on its own freehold 
in the Mawheraiti valley, near the debouchure of Antonio Creek. Dredging began 
early in 1915, and for several months the returns were inadequate. At length, however, 
the Worksop lead was reached, and the yields have since been satisfactory. 

Grey Valley Group. — -Dredging in that portion of the Grey valley lying within 
the Reefton Subdivision has been a dismal failure. Of the twelve dredges built, only 
one paid back part of the capital expended, and of those sold to working-parties for 
small sums it is doubtful if any repaid their purchasers. As early as 1898 the project of 
placing a dredge on the main river at the Little Grey Junction was seriously con- 
sidered, and eventually four dredges were built on that portion of the river between 
the Waipuna and Moonlight creeks. These were the Waipuna and the Grey River 
Consolidated, completed in June of 1900 and 1901 respectively, and the Golden Lead 
and the Caledonia, both finished in December, 1901. .All quickly demonstrated that the 
gravels of the Grey in this part of its course could not be treated by dredges at 
a profit, and the companies owning them soon went into liquidation. 

The dredges working in branch streams were more successful. J The Mosquito, 
built on a small branch of the Waipuna, and completed in December, 1901, yielded 



195 

good returns at once, and was a consistent gold-producer until 1904, wlien the claim 
was exhausted. Mosquito No. 2 started work in 1903, but the amount of buried 
timber in the claim caused so much loss of time that the returns were unsatisfactory. 
Both companies were wound up in 1905, and the dredges passed into the hands of 
working-parties. Keturns, however, were only moderate, and the dredges were finally 
dismantled. 

Three dredges were placed in Dufier Creek basin, of which the first to be com- 
missioned was the Totara Flat, built on Brandy Jack Creek, a small branch of 
Duffer Creek. It started operations on the 15th November, 1901, but the results 
were poor, and work was temporarily stopped. During 1903-4 the dredge was again 
in commission, but the returns were unprofitable, and in 1906 the machinery was 
dismantled. The Golden United and Sullivan's Lead, the other dredges built on 
Dufier Creek, were even more unfortimate. Both started late in 1903, and were in 
liquidation before the end of 1904. Both were dismantled, the machinery of the 
Golden United going to British Columbia and that of the Sullivan's Lead to New 
South Wales. 

Of the dredges on the western side of the Grey, the Shellback was finished late 
in 1901, and worked for two years with but indifferent returns. Li 1903 it was sold 
to Allison and party, who continued to work it for several years. The dredge was 
finally dismantled in 1907. The Moonlight dredge started work late in 1903, and 
sank before the end of the year. The ground was rough but payable. In 1905 a 
tribute was let to Flaherty brothers, who afterwards acquired the dredge. It changed 
hands on several occasions, but was in nearly constant commission till the middle of 
1913, when the owners (the Eureka Syndicate) had the misfortime to have their 
machine destroyed by fire. The Garibaldi dredge started in 1902, but returns were 
unpayable ; next year the company was wound up and the dredge dismantled. The 
claim was situated on Moonlight Creek, between the crossing of the road from 
Blackball and the Roaring Meg junction. 

Conclusion. 

Of the dredges mentioned above, all save a few of the more recent were fitted 
with revolving screens and ladder elevators. The following sluice-box dredges have 
been built : Hessey, Cameron, and Tacon's, and the Frying-pan dredges on Boatman 
Creek, and Antonio Creek, and the Worksop dredges on Antonio's Flat. The chief 
advantage of the sluice-box style of dredge over the other is the avoidance of the 
heavy wear-and-tear incidental to the use of trommel and elevator, while in addition 
the first cost is decidedly less. On the other hand, the elevator enables a dredge to 
work much deeper gromid, since the greater bulk of the tailings formed from the 
tight-packed wash may be piled high behind the dredge, while the sluice-box can 
build its tailings but a few feet higher than the original surface. Again, in dealing 
with large stones, especially if they be flat-sided, the elevator has the advantage, in 
that an extra man is required to keep the sluice-box clear. Li regard to the state 
of the land left behind the dredge, the advantage is all with the sluice-box type. The 
elevator dredge deposits the fine material of the wash at the bottom of its paddock, and 
piles the coarse in rough imsightly heaps on the top of the fuie, while the sluice-box 
dredge spreads fine and coarse together, leaving a fairly even surface behind it. As a 
gold-saver the trommel type of dredge is theoretically superior, in that the material is 
graded according to size before the concentration of the gold is attempted. Tliis 
permits of the tables having a flatter grade than is possible in the sluice-box dredge, 
where, in addition, a volume of water strong enough to transport the larger stones 

13* -Reefton. 



196 

must also be provided. In dealing with a fine-gold proposition the use of the trommel 
is certainly advisable, but in ordinary stream-alluvium of moderate depth the sluice- 
box type of dredge appears to have the advantage. 

Dredging on the West Coast has been practised on an extensive scale for over 
fifteen years. The experimental stage was supposed to have passed before the boom 
of 1900 began, but as a matter of fact it is only within the last half-dozen years that 
sufficient data have accumulated to indicate the essential factors which must be known 
before the success or failure of a venture can be gauged. The main factors are the 
design and handling of the dredge and the nature and auriferous content of the 
wash. The first two are entirely within human control, and no dredging enterprise 
should be commenced until the latter have been investigated. In the time of the 
boom the designs of dredges were frequently unsuited to the conditions obtaining on 
the claims, or even structurally faulty. In those days, moreover, experienced dredge- 
men were rare, and often the dredge had shut down before the dredgemaster and his 
staff had acquired the technical knowledge requisite for the efficient working of the 
dredge. The writer believes that as many of the early dredges failed by reason of 
these disabilities as through lack of gold in the wash. Nowadays the materials of a 
dredge are usually assembled from old machines, and in so far as these materials are 
forced on the designer his construction may be weakened. 

The amount and distribution of the detrital gold in the wash can be ascertained 
only by trial. The gold may be distributed fairly evenly throughout a considerable 
thickness of gravel, or may be concentrated in irregular bands on one or several 
bottoms ; and generally both conditions of distribution prevail to a certain extent. 
Preliminary to dredging a number of bores are usually put down in various parts of 
the claim, or, more rarely, shafts are sunk to the bottom of the wash. In both 
cases the gold contained in the material removed is carefully determined, and from 
the data so obtained an idea as to the auriferous content of the wash is formed. 
In drilling, speed is subservient to accuracy, and too much stress cannot be laid 
upon the care necessary in the operation to secure a sample representing as nearly 
as possible the value of the place drilled. The reliability of the estimate formed 
increases with the number of bores, but it is obvious that unless a complete system 
is adopted the data obtained may be very misleading. The plan of boring can only 
be determined after a study of the ground, and as drilling proceeds. No rule as to 
the number of bores required can be given, and it is here that the personal equation 
comits for so much. Dredging-areas, on the West Coast at least, are usually near 
old alluvial workings ; are sometimes, in fact, areas of low ground too wet to be 
worked by the early diggers. The amoimt of gold won from the adjacent terraces, 
and the history of the various leads in the locality — whether they were traced into 
low ground or were entirely worked out — are matters which should be taken into 
account by the dredge investor. However, boring as a preliminary to dredging should 
never be omitted, as, in addition to giving positive information as to the gold-content 
of the wash, it also furnishes valuable data in regard to its nature and depth, the 
size and frequency of the boulders it contains, and the hardness and contour of the 
bed-rock. Shaft-sinking is another method of determining the value of a dredging- 
area, and is superior to drilling in that it provides a much better opporttmity of 
examining the character of the wash and the position of the water-level. It also 
enables a much larger sample of the wash to be taken out. thus decreasing the 
chance of error in estimating the gold-content. In this respect shafts are especially 
useful in loose wash, which in bores tends to give decidedly better results than the 
amount of gold in the wash warrants. This method, however, is more expensive 
than drilling, and is limited to favourable conditions, while tests by bores can be made 



197 

in any class of ground. A knowledge of the nature of the wash is of the utmost 
importance, and has a material effect on the design of the dredge. Tight rough 
wash requires for successful treatment a large and powerful machine, while when 
boulders occur in any number fewer buckets must be placed on the ladder. These 
conditions add to the capital cost of a dredge and to its working-expenses by reducing 
its capacity and increasing the wear-and-tear. A hard and creviced rock bottom 
or a large proportion of clay in the wash reduces the proportion of gold saved, 
which under ordinary conditions does not exceed 80 per cent, of the amount in the 
gravel. Buried timber, however, is a far more serious difficulty on the West Coast, 
and when present in large amount makes successful work impossible. After the 
value and extent of the dredging-area have been determined, the cost of building 
and operating the dredge ought to be carefully considered, while the probable transport 
charges for material, fuel, and supplies must not be forgotten. 

It will thus be seen that the investigation of a dredging proposition is not so 
simple a matter as the investor has too often been deluded into believing. Never- 
theless the close agreement between the value of the ground as determined by skilful 
prospecting and the actual returns won by dredging under good conditions, together 
with the accuracy of the estimates of the gold to be recovered under conditions not 
ideal, makes dredging differ from most other gold-mining operations, inasmuch as if 
properly conducted it becomes more of an investment and less of a speculation. 



COAL-DEPOSITS. 

As already stated, the coal-seams of the Reefton Subdivision occur in three sets of 
beds. Tertiary in age — ^the Mawheranui, Oamaru, and Pareora series respectively. The 
seams of the oldest beds range in quality from anthracite to bituminous, those of the 
middle series from bituminous to brown, and those of the youngest through various 
grades of brown coal. The coals of the middle group are by far the most extensively 
developed, and up to the present they are the only ones that have been worked, although 
prospecting operations have been undertaken in connection with the seams of both the 
other horizons. 

Origin of Coal-seams. 

Most people are inclined to think the origin of coal-seams a purely academic question 
of no interest to the practical man. A little consideration, however, will satisfy any 
intelligent person that the elucidation of this problem is a matter of exceedingly great 
commercial importance. Without a knowledge of how the coal came to be formed the 
intelligejit anticipation of the behaviour of the seams in depth, and of the occurrence 
and distribution of other seams that do not outcrop, must depend entirely on analogy 
and become decidedly less reliable. 

All authorities are agreed that coal has been formed from accumulations of vegetable 
matter that has undergone partial decomposition by fermentative processes before being 
buried, but a sharp divergence of opinion prevails as to whether coal-seams result from 
vegetation that grew on the spot or from debris drifted from a distance. " Both the 
' drift ' and the ' growth-in -place ' theories have been strongly urged in the past. . . In 
fact, the chief controversy with regard to coal during the last hundred years has always 
centred round these very questions. To-day authorities are perhaps as much divided as 
ever they were. . . . The data are so complicated, and tlie evidence, if considered 
only in part, is so liable to mislead, that many writers, beyond a statement of the chief 
arguments on either side, have not attempted to express any personal opinion on these 
matters."* Morganf for the Greymouth, and Morgan and BartrumJ for the Westport, 



* E. A. N. Arber : " The Natural History of Coal," 1911, pp. 82-83. f N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 13, 

1011, p. 125. tN.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17, 1915, p. 141. 



198 

district have advocated the " drift " theory for the coals occurring in these localities. 
The present writer, on the other hand, considers the " growth-in-place " theory more 
consistent with the facts observed in the Reefton Subdivision, and will present the facts 
supporting it. 

The coal-seams themselves must be regarded as layers forming a part, though a very 
small part, of the whole rock-sequence, and any hypothesis of origin must take this into 
accoimt. The deformative movements that preceded the laying-down of the coal- 
measures (midoubtedly of littoral deposition) belonging to the Mawheranui and Oamaru 
series were of a nature to cause the land to supply the rivers and waves with vast 
quantities of spoil.* At the same time the land surface drowned by the sea invasion 
was of a senile topography, and the recesses and embayments formed were wide and 
shallow ; in fact, the conditions were peculiarly favourable to the formation of tidal 
flats and lagoons. The yomigest group of coal-measures are of deltaic deposition, an 
origin implying the existence of extensive shallow lakes and lagoons during that period. 
The coal-horizon in each case is situated quite close to the basal rock of the locality, 
and where several seams occur they are separated by no great thickness of sediment. 
The seams themselves are usually contained between current-bedded sandstones and 
grits, from which they are usually separated by thin layers of carbonaceous shale or 
shaly sandstone. Occasionally fireclay is present, and seams of this occur indifferently 
on the roof or floor. The enclosing strata may carry many discontinuous layers of 
carbonaceous matter, and the roof of the seam often shows numerous minor irregularities 
evidently not due to movements of the coal-measure rocks. The coal-seams are 
decidedly lenticular, and toward the edges of the deposits the coal gradually decreases 
in thickness, its place beiiig taken by carbonaceous shale or mudstone. The gradation 
is usually effected by the appearance of a number of dirt-layers that steadily thicken 
and finally entirely displace the coal, which generally in addition contains an increasing 
amount of ash. At other times the sandstone of the floor and roof approach mitil only 
a thm layer of carbonaceous material remains. Dirt-bands consisting of a few inches 
of carbonaceous shale are by no means rare, and these are also lenticular. 

The existence of shallow lakes and lagoons formed by wave-action in indentations 
protected from the full force of the sea, or in estuaries where the currents were not 
strong enough to disperse the abundant river-spoil, is postulated for each coal-forming 
period. These sheets of water would in time be occupied by swamps, the vegetation of 
which would tend to creep landward up the gently sloping flats mitil the surface of the 
swamp was above the drainage-level. On rare occasions, by the combuiation of unusual 
conditions, the sea would burst the barrier it had raised, or a river would break into 
the morass, when a widespread layer of sediment forming a dirt-band would be 
deposited, of a thickness depending upon the length of time elapsing before restoration 
of normal conditions. At the edges of the morass a constant oscillation of conditions 
would occur, and the detrital matter deposited would be alternately vegetable or inorganic, 
but where the swamp-margm was steeper this feature would not be prominent. A 
slight depression of the land might cause the sea to transgress over the low-lying portion 
of the swamp and cover it with sand, while the higher portion would remain clear, and 
when the waves had built another barrier the vegetation would spread from the mrburied 
part of the morass and occupy the newly formed lagoon. Thus could arise the splitting 
of seams, although this feature may have other origins. This method is indicated if 
no great thickness of rock separates the seams, and if the junction is in the direction 
of the old land and is effected by the gentle rising of the lower seam towards the upper. 

The complete burial of the coal-forming swamp would follow a land-depression of 
slightly greater amount. The sea would transgress and kill the fresh-water vegetation. 

* See p. 83. 



199 

Its seaward margin would at first entangle much of the coarser material, and thus the 
earliest layers of inorganic debris would consist for the most part of fine mud only, 
which, intermingled with the plant-remains of the surface of the old morass, now forms 
the carbonaceous shale frequently fomid on the roof of coal-seams. No doubt at times 
the waves would strip off the upper layers of the swamp and expose the half-decomposed 
vegetable pulp beneath ; but it must be borne in mind that the swamp-lagoon could 
have been formed only in a sheltered recess of the coast, where the waves would tend to 
prograde the shore, so that although part of the embryo coal-seam might be denuded 
the greater portion would soon be protected by a cover of beach-deposit. If the land- 
depression was not great the coast-line would not be essentially altered, and in course 
of time conditions favourable to the accumulation of vegetable matter would recur. 
Whether the new lagoon was inland or seaward of the old would depend upon several 
factors — the amount of depression, the amount of waste, the contour of the new 
shore, &c. As depression continued, in spite of pauses permitting progradation of sheltered 
portions of the coast, the first-formed beach-deposits would be covered by purely marine 
beds, while the marginal swamps would move inland and give rise to other seams 
belonging to younger overlapping layers, and in each case near the basement rock of 
the locality. It should be noted, however, that as the land sank, its elevation and area 
would constantly decrease, with a corresponding diminution of the supply of debris for 
beach-building. This accords well with the vertical distribution of the seams in the 
three Tertiary series, since they are far more frequent in the lower than in the middle, 
and are entirely absent in the upper layers of each group, even where these rest upon 
the gently sloping surface of the ancient land. 

One of the axioms of geology is that the past should be interpreted in conformity 
with the natural forces in operation at the present time. In the writer's opinion the 
theory just outlined does this, the essentials being — ^(1) an intermittently sinking land, 
which also implies the existence of sheltered embayments ; (2) a plentiful supply of 
waste ; (3) a swamp deposit. The first two conditions were undoubtedly fulfilled during 
the Tertiary, while examples of the third, known to the writer, are furnished by many 
of the morasses of the Piako Plain. In depth these consist of half-decomposed vegetable 
pulp, and contain considerable quantities of resinous particles and lumps, as well as the 
trunks of trees of which the groves were overwhelmed long since, when the land was 
depressed. These, if buried by sand and mud, could well form coal-seams. Strictly 
analogous with them are the lignites of Tauranga Harbour, which contain tree-stumps 
and fallen boles set in a structureless mass.* These seams were formed during the 
post-Tertiary depression, and that they accumulated by growth in the place they now 
occupy cannot be doubted. 

It must, however, be admitted that the occurrence of well-rolled pebbles of quartz 
or rock such as are occasionally found in the coal-seams of the Greymouth,t Pakawau, 
Shag Point, and Green IslandJ districts are not satisfactorily accounted for by the 
theory of coal-genesis just outlined. The explanation offered by the " drift " theory — 
that they owe their position to entanglement among floating vegetation — though not free 
from objection, is more plausible than any hypothesis that the writer could devise 
with the " growth-in-place " theory as a basis. 

Another objection urged against the swamp " growth-in-place " theory is that the 
peat of existing swamps contains, when dried, rarely less than 5 per cent, of ash,§ 
and that coal formed from this material would contain an ash percentage far above 



* N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 16, 1913, p. 76. 
t N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 13, 1911, pp. 123 and 125. 

i Hutton, F. W., and Ulrich, G. H. F. : " Geology of Otago," 187.'). p. 103. 

§ Clarke, F. W. : " The Data of Geochemistry," 1911, U.S. G.S. Bull. No. 491, p. 709. Kumnioll, H. B. : 
" The Peat Deposits of New Jersey." Economic Geology, vol. ii, 1907, p. 26. 



200 



that of even tlie dirtiest of the West Coast seams. An inquiry, however, into the 
nature of the ash of wood, peat, and coal causes this objection to lose nauch of its 
weight. The following table of typical examples of ash of various fuels shows that 
a very large proportion of the ash of peat must be readily soluble in swamp waters :— 



Oak Wood* 






Steam Coal,§ 


Natural Coke, 


' (contains 

2 per Cent, 
of Ash). 


Irish Peat.f 


Lignite, 
Hungary.} 


Ebbw Vale, 
Wales. 


Chasm 

Creek. II 


K2O.. .. .. 843 


1-323 


2-38 




} 1-35 


NaaO 




5-65 


1-902 


0-38 




CaO 






7545 


36-496 


15-62 


3-94 


3-16 


MgO.. 






449 


7-634 


3-64 


2-20 


0-54 


AI2O3 




• ' 0-57 

. 1 


1 5-411 


23-07 1 


35-01 


' 11-50 


FeaOg 




1 15-608 


5-05 1 


1 53-84 


MnO 






. . 


1-13 




0-80 


P2O5 




. i 346 


2-571 




0-88 




SO3 . . 






M6 


14-092 


12-35 


4-89 


, . 


CI .. 






0-01 


1-482 


1-55 


, . 




CO2 






. , 


7-761 








SiOa.. 






0-78 


3-595 


36-01 


53-00 


26-74 


TiOo 












, . 


0-92 


Insoluble in acid 




. . 


2-168 




. . 


, . 


Undetermined (? carbon) 




•• 


■• 






1-15 


To 


tals 




100-00 


■ 100-043 


101-18 


99-92 

i 


100-00 



* Percy, J. : " Metallurgy, Fuel, &c.," 1875, p. 196. f Ibid., p. 209. J Ibid., p. 351. 

§ Ibid., p. 352. II N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17, p. 171. For numerous analyses of the ashes of New South 

Wales cokes see " The Coke Industry of New South Wales," 1916, pp. 83 and 84. 



DiSTEIBUTON OP THE CoAL-DEPOSITS. 

If the earth-structure of the subdivision has been correctly interpreted, and if 
the principles controlling the formation of coal-seams are essentially as set forth in 
the section above, it becomes possible to indicate, with an exactness depending on 
the number of data available, the position and extent of the coal -bearing areas. Thus 
it is known that the movement that preceded the Mawheranui period was accom- 
panied by radial faulting and the differential elevation of adjacent earth -blocks. Since 
similar movements, some of which were mrdoubtedly along the same fractures, deter- 
mined the present land-form, it is reasonable to assume that the land-features now 
existing were already takitig shape. Apparently the sea during Mawheranui times 
covered the southern end of the Paparoa block to at least as far as the Preeth River, 
and it may be supposed that an arm extended still farther northward along the graben 
and across to its eastern border. Doubtless also the depression extended far into the 
land, and was drained by a considerable stream that brought down an abundant supply 
of waste, and the conditions must have been peculiarly favourable for the formation 
of coal-seams. It seems probable, then, that a fringe of coal-lenses extends along 
the margin of the ancient gulf, and that workable seams, though at a very great 
depth, exist as far north as Hukarere. On the western side of the Paparoa Range 
the problem of the distribution of the coal-measures of this age is not so simple. 
There is some evidence in the breccia and breccia-conglomerate beds of Bullock Creek 
and Brighton that a rift-valley, of which the western wall has long since foundered 
and of which the floor only remains, was formed, and in the anthracites of the Fox 
River that coal accumulated in it during that period. On the other hand, it is known 



201 

tliat elevation and erosion took place before the deposition of the overlying Oamaru 
beds, and there are no data to show how far this erosion went. There is, however, 
a reasonable possibility that a great part of the coastal region has a layer of coal- 
measures of Mawheranui age interposed between the basement rock and the overlying 
Late Tertiary strata. This and the depth of the coal-bearing horizon can only be 
determined by boring. It should be noted that from the Punakaiki northward the 
bore would have to penetrate, before reaching the older Tertiary rocks, only a shallow 
thickness of the lower beds of Oamaru Series, which themselves also contain a coal- 
horizon. 

The distribution of the Oamaru rocks is suificiently indicated in the accompanying 
geological maps of the subdivision. It is probable that they underlie the whole of the 
Inangahua trough to a depth steadily increasing from the north southward. That 
conditions favourable for the formation of coal-seams prevailed over wide marginal 
belts during the early Oamaru period is certain ; but that these belts, due to successive 
depressions at irregular intervals, form a contiiruous sheet beneath the yoimger purely 
marine beds of the same series is very doubtful, and where other information is not 
at hand the distribution and commercial value of the hidden coal-lenses can only 
be determined by systematic boring. 

No workings have hitherto been undertaken in the coal-seams of Pareora age, 
but from the study of the outcrops they appear to be decidedly more irregular both 
in thickness and composition than the seams of earlier age. On this account the 
writer considers that exploration by boring is even more essential in connection with 
these seams than for the coals of the Oamaru and Mawheranui measures. 

Composition of the Coal. 

The transformation of vegetable matter into coal of various grades is recognized 
to have been effected by a slow distillation. It is obvious that this process, as applied 
in respect to the layers of vegetable material contained in rocks of various character, 
is • very different from the distillation of the same material in the laboratory, and it 
is manifestly impossible there to reproduce conditions identical with those obtaining 
in nature. Nevertheless the main factors on which the composition of the final product 
of a distillation depend are as potent in the one process as in the other. These are 
(1) the nature of the original substance, (2) the time occupied in the distillation, (3) the 
intensity of the heat, (4) the physical pressure to which the material is subjected, 
and (5) the facilities of escape afforded the gaseous products of the process. 

Nature of the Original Substance. 
Some autho] ities consider that although the change from peat to brown coal is 
established, no process or combination of conditions and processes could convert a 
brown coal into a bituminous coal oi' an anthracite ; in fact, they maintain that 
the " mother substances " of these coals were originally essentially different.* This 
hypothesis seems to be also based, in part at least, on the erroneous supposition 
that bituminous and anthracitic coals aie confined to rocks of a Palaeozoic age.f In 
the Reefton Subdivision, however, the coals of the Oamaru Series range from brown 
to bituminous coal, while if the whole of the Tertiary coals be considered the lange 
is from brown coal to anthracite. With such wide differences in the composition 
of coals not differing greatly in age, and laid down under similai' conditions, it seems 



* See the papers by Donath and his associates, quoted by F. W. Clarke in " The Data of Geochemistry." 
U.S. G.S. Bull. No. 491, 1911, p. 715. 

t Newell Arber, E. A. : "The Natural History of Coal," 1911, p. 69. 



202 

indeed extremely hazardous and entirely unnecessary to postulate material differences 
in the original " mother substance," especially as such an assumption is unsupported 
by positive evidence. On the other hand, although the chemical composition is similar, 
there is a decided difference in the physical structure of the coals of the Pareora 
Series when these are compared with the lignitic material* occurring in the same set 
of beds. In the case of the lignitic material the woody structure and bark of the 
tree-stems, which have been much flattened out, is plainly discernible, while the coal 
is apparently homogeneous. It is suggested that the coal has been formed from 
partially decomposed vegetable debris accumulated mider water, while the lignitic 
bands represent forest growth overwhelmed by sedimentation. The " doughboys " of 
Seddonville may represent portions of tree-trunks contained in swamps, but still sound, 
or at least not completely decomposed, when the fermentative action of the bacteria 
was checked by burial beneath inorganic debris. Later the distillation processes 
destroyed all trace of woody tissue, and left material differing considerably in physical, 
but not in chemical, properties from the surromiding coal. 

Age of the Coal-seams in Relation to their Composition. 

The time during which the vegetable matter has been subjected to the slow 
distillation has had a decided influence on — in fact, by many is considered the main 
factor in determining — ^the nature and composition of the resultant product. In New 
Zealand, however, it was long agof recognized that the mere lapse of time would not 
reasonably explain the variations in the grades of coal. On the West Coast, where the 
seams lie flat or gently inclined, the effect of age on the composition of the coal is 
shown by the following table representing the range of the average coals of each series : — 



Fixed carbon 
Hydrocarbons 
Water 

As the coals of each group do not differ greatly in age among themselves it is 
evident that the composition does not depend entirely on time. 

Heat of Distillation. 

The effect of this factor is best seen where coal-seams have been altered by the 
intrusion of igneous rocks. An example of such metamorphism is unknown on the West 
Coast, but may be studied in connection with the coal-seams of the Malvern Hills, 
Canterbury.J 

Physical Pressure. 

This is produced by crustal stresses, and in the Reefton Subdivision there are 
numerous examples of coal-alteration brought about chiefly by the pressure accompanying 
fault-movements. Thus the fault-involved coal-seams of the Fox River belonging to the 

* The following analysis of lignitic material from a band in Ford Creek (a small branch of Blackwater 
Creek, Mawheraiti Survey District) may be compared with those on pp. 217, 218: — 

Fixed carbons 
Hydrocarbons 
Water . . . . . . 

Ash .. 

10000 100-00 
Sulphur .. .. .. .. .. .. 0-74 

t Hutton, F. W. : " Report on the Geology and Goldfields of Otago," 1875, p. 98. 
J Evans, W. P. : " Contact Metamorphism at the New Brockley Coal-mine." Trans., vol. xxxi, 1899, 
p. 557 et seq. 



Mawheranui 


Oamaru 


Pareora 


Series. 


Series. 


Series. 


. 66-45 


50-32 


40-42 


. 33-45 


42-50 


45-38 


1-10 


8-18 


15-20 





Reduced to an 




Ash-free Basis. 


22-84 


37-0 


28-20 


■ 45-7 


10-71 


17-3 


38-25 





203 

Mawherarmi Series have the composition of high-grade anthracite, while the flat-lying 
seams of the same age contain bituminous coal only. Another example, and one 
exhibited by the coals of the Oamaru Series, will suffice. At Murray Creek the coal, 
where not crushed by faults, contains 50 per cent, of fixed carbon and 5 per cent, of 
water, figures altered to 52 per cent, and 2*7 per cent, respectively only a few chains 
away, where it is strongly crushed but not pulped. In this locality pitch has been 
found, presumably produced by the heating of the coal by earth-movements. 

Facilities for the Escape of the Gaseous Products. 

As far as the writer is aware, the efEect that a ready means of escape for the 
gaseous products of distillation has on the composition of coal was first brought into 
prominence by M. K. Campbell.* He considers that " the whole process of trans- 
formation of vegetable matter into coal is controlled by the porosity of the overlying 
rocks. "t This in turn depends not only upon the original physical character of the 
rocks, but also upon the joint- and cleavage-planes developed by earth-movements. It 
is probable that this factor has been more largely concerned in the alteration of coal in 
the neighbourhood of faults than the pressure exerted by the stress producing the fault. 
To accomit for all the differences in composition of the coals in the Keefton Subdivision 
is very difficult, and no doubt the various grades were produced by the operation of a 
combination of several of the factors enumerated, and of others unknown. The hypothesis 
of rock-porosity, however, so aptly explains so many of the observed facts that the 
writer considers it the dominant factor in determining the nature of the coal. It is not 
proposed in this place to detail all the facts leading to this conclusion, but it may be 
stated that in a general way the coals of the Oamaru Series alter with the nature of 
the rocks containing themi. Thus on the Reefton plateau, where the measures consist 
almost entirely of conglomerate, grit, and coarse sandstone, the coal is almost 
bituminous in character. At Brighton, on the other hand, where the measures consist 
of no great thickness of sandstone overlain by a great thickness of impervious 
argillaceous sandstone and limestone, the seams are of brown coal. Where the 
measures are of a permeability intermediate between these extremes the coal is of 
intermediate grade. 

Detailed Description of the Coal-seams. 
For convenience of description the coal-seams of the subdivision may be divided 
into a number of groups. The separation adopted depends primarily on time, and 
secondly on distribution. 

((1) Greymouth group. 
Mawheranui Series — Eocene(?) . . • • i (2) Porarari group. 

((3) Fox River group. 

(1) Buller Gorge group. 

(2) Three-channel Flat group. 

(3) Fletcher Creek group. 

Oamaru Series' — Lower Miocene . . • • -;' L! -m 

I (5) rlateau group. 

((6) Waiwhero group. 
(7) Garden Gully group. 
(8) Brighton group. 

•n a • TT HT- I (1) Giles Creek group 

Pareora Series — ^Upper Miocene . . ••,,,'„ ^ , 

( (2) Camp Creek group. 

* " Hypothesis to account for the Transformation of Vegetable Matter into the Different Grades of 
Coal.' Economic Geology, vol. i, lOOfi, p. 26 rt acq. f '^l>- '"''•, p. 30. 



204 

Greymouth Group. 
The area of coal-bearing rocks to which, this name has been given forms the 
southern end of the Paparoa Range, and contains all the valuable seams worked in the 
Greymouth district. A small portion of this area enters the southern boundary of the 
Reefton Subdivision, and this, together with the very important major section, has 
already been adequately described in Bulletin No. 13, to which publication the reader is 
referred for details. 

Porarari Group* 
A small outlier of coal-bearing strata, consistiiig of conglomerate, grit, and sandstone, 
isolated by crustal movements and denudation, occurs on the divide between the Porarari 
and Punakaiki rivers on the one side and the Big (Freeth) River on the other. Several 
outcrops are reported to occur in the Porarari fall, and one seam, of which the position 
is roughly indicated on the map, crops out near the crest of the ridge. The writer 
had no opportunity of examining this remote locality. The coal-fragments noted in the 
bed of the Pike Stream and the main south branch of the Porarari River indicate that 
the seams consist of bituminous coal. Several square miles of apparently horizontally 
disposed and probably little disturbed coal-measure strata may here exist, and as some 
of the seams are reported to be of good workable thickness the area, in spite of the 
difficulty of access, may yet prove worthy of commercial exploitation. 

Fox River Group. 
A small patch of steeply dipping and fault-traversed coal-bearing rocks of Eocene 
age lying between the two headwater branches of the Fox River forms the area here 
considered. About a mile up the north branch from the forks there is an outcrop of 
coal-measures consisting of grit (here altered to quartzite), conglomerate, and shale 
containing small coal-bands from 2 in. to Gin. thick. The strike is nearly north-east, 
and the dip south-east at 60°. Thirty chains up-stream a similar set of beds striking 
north-north-east, and dipping west at about 80°, contains several seams from lin. to 
9 in. thick. On the hillsides in this locality it is stated that a prospecting party 
discovered 26 ft. of crushed coal and two outcrops of hard anthracitic coal 7 ft. and 11 ft. 
thick respectively. In the south branch of the Fox (Henniker Stream) an outcrop of 
exceedingly crushed carbonaceous shale only was observed. The following analyses of 
the coal from this locality may be quoted. They show the anthracitic nature of the 
material. 





(1.) 


(2.) 


(3.) 


(4.) 


(5.) 


(6.) 


(7.) 


Fixed carbon . . 


71-80 


79-65 


79-81 


90-90 


82-42 


82-70 


82-14 


Volatile hydrocarbons . . 


5-79 


6-56 


4-93 


5-10 


11-07 


9-43 


12-08 


Water 


4-18 


3-61 


0-86 


0-80 


0-23 


1-05 


0-71 


Ash 


18-23 


10-18 


14-40 


3-20 


6-28 


6-82 


5-07 



Totals .. .. 100-00 100-00. 100-00 100-00 100-00 100-00 100-00 



Sulphur .. .. .. 0-35 0-57 0-67 

Specific gravity .. .. .. .. .. 1-32 

(1) and (2). Probably from upper outcrops on Fox River. Lab. Rep. No. 29, 
1895, p. 10. 

(3.) Probably from lower outcrop on Fox River. Ibid. 

(4.) Fox River. Lab. Rep. No. 35, 1901, p. 7. 

(5.) Fox River. Lab. Rep. No. 40, 1907, p. 10. 

(6.) Fox River. Lab. Rep. No. 44, 1911, p. 9. 

(7.) Fox River. From Sin. seam in upper set of outcrops, collected by the writer. 

* See also N.Z. G.S. Fifth Ann. Rep., C.-9, 1911, p. 13. 



205 

The coal-measures of this locality have been prospected, but the strata are so 
shattered that there is no likelihood of commercially valuable seams ever being found in 
them. The occurrence is of value only as indicating the possibility that the coal -horizon 
to which the seams, belong lies beneath the younger beds that cover the lower ground 
between the mountains and the sea. This possibility is strengthened — indeed, becomes 
a probability — from the fact that the breccia-conglomerates that lie beneath the 
Mawheranui coal-measures outcrop near the mouth of the Fox River. These, before 
disappearing beneath the younger strata, are overlain by grits and carbonaceous shale 
that apparently belong to the coal-bearing horizon. The belt of country lying 
immediately to the westward of the Paparoa Range is a potential coalfield, the value 
of which can only be proved by systematic boring. In structure it resembles the 
probable coalfield beneath the Westport flats, of which it may be regarded as a 
southern extension. It is likely on structural gromids that the ridges of ancient 
rock represented on the coast by the gneiss of Tuhinu Hill and the granite of the 
Gentle Annie Rocks cut o£E this coal-bearing area on the north and south respectively, 
and its meridional extension would on this account be little more than its east-and- 
west width at the Fox River — ^that is, five miles. The later Tertiary covering-strata 
are undisturbed and have a gentle easterly dip, and if the Mawheranui beds maintain 
the dip at their outcrop near the mouth of the Fox River the coal-horizon would 
lie many thousands of feet below the surface near the mountains. There is, however, 
a reasonable hope that the horizon is at a much shallower depth, but this can be 
ascertained only by boring. The chief indication of the possible existence of workable 
seams is to be found in the reported thicknesses mentioned on a previous page. On 
the theoretical grounds already discussed it is probable that the coal will not be 
anthracitic, but will range in quality from semi-bituminous to bitumiaous. 

Buller Gorge Group. 

The first mention of the working of the seams of this group is by the Inspector 
of Mines, who reports that Mr. C. Croawell in 1884 took out 20 tons from a pit, 
of which the exact locality is unknown to the writer. The Coal Creek Mine is 
situated not in Coal Creek, but on the Buller Road about two miles below Mr. George 
Walker's station, " Rocklands." It was worked by Mr. Berlin and others prior to 
1887, but it was not until 1897 that the requirements of the Excelsior dredge caused 
the mine to be systematically opened. In 1900 it was taken up by Mr. Walker 
for the purpose of supplying the Rocklands dredge. Work was continued regularly 
until 1907, when the demand foi- steam coal slackened owing to the shutting-down 
of some of the dredges in the vicinity. The property now belongs to Mr. John 
Burley, by whom it is intermittently worked. The Whitecliffs Mine, situated on 
Coal Creek a short distance from the Buller Road, was opened in 1891 to furnish 
the Whiteclifis dredge with fuel. The vicissitudes and voyagings of this machine 
have already been mentioned, and its coal-supply was drawn either from this mine 
or from Three-channel Flat, whichever was the more convenient. The mine was 
closed in 1897 but reopened in 1901, and was regularly worked while the dredges 
were in operation. It is now owned by Mr. Job. Lines, and is worked as occasion 
requires by Mr. James Burley. Altogether about 14,000 tons are recorded as having 
been mined from this locality, of which the Coal Creek and Whiteclilfs nrincs have 
each supplied a nearly equal quota. 

What may be termed the Buller Gorge coalfield consists of a strip of country 
that stretches from Slug Creek (a tributary of Pensini Creek) on the north to Nada 
Creek (a tributary of the Buller Blackwater) on the south. The extreme coal-outorops 
are thirteen miles apart, and of this distance eight miles lie within the Reef ton 



206 

SubdiAdsion, the area crossing the northern portion of the Liangahua Survey District 
diagonally. The width of the possibly coal-bearing area is, on the northern boundary 
of the subdivision, at least a mile and a half ; while southward, in which quarter 
connection is probably made with the main Inangahua graben, this width may 
increase, although as the coal-outcrops in this direction are confined to the western 
edge nothing definite can be said. The strata in which the seams are contained are 
of Oamaru age. 

The accompan}ang table shows the composition of the coals from this area. 
Analyses of samples from Pensini and Nada creeks, indicating the nature of the 
seams from the northern and southern portions of the field respectively, are also 
included. 



— 


(1.) 


(2.) 


(3.) 


(4.) 


(5.) 


(6.) 


(7.) 


(8.) 


(9.) 


(10.) 


Fixed carbon 

Volatile hydrocarbons . . 

Water 

Ash 


44-16 

44-26 

10-22 

1-36 


49-36 

42-38 

7-81 

0-45 


43-84 

41-00 

12-48 

2-68 


44-46 

43-11 

10-56 

1-87 


45-92 

30-63 

15-86 

7-69 


48-14 

32-20 

17-40 

2-26 


40-62 

43-26 

13-52 

2-60 


41-78 

41-95 

12-20 

4-07 


42-29 

41-59 

12-67 

3-45 


37-60 

38-67 

18-65 

5-08 


Totals . . 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


Sulphur 
Specific gravity 
Calories per gramme . . 
British thermal units per 

pound 
Evaporative power per 

pound 
Practical evaporative 

power (assuming 60° 

efficiency) 


4-18 

6,077 
10,398 

11-34 


3-99 

1-28 

7,004 


3-35 

5,896 
10,612 

11-00 

6-60 


2-69 

6,376 
11,476 

11-90 

7-14 


5-9 




4-50 

6,i89 
11,140 

11-55 

6-93 


2-92 

5,969 

10,744 

1114 
6-68 


2-65 

5,902 
10,624 

11-01 

6-61 


4-2S 



(1.) Pensini Creek, 8 ft. seam. N.Z. Gl.S. Bull. No. 17, 1915, p. 178. 

(2.) Blue Duck Creek, lower outcrop. Ihid., p. 173. Gives a firm swollen coke. 

(3.) Mcintosh Creek, at crossing of Three-channel Flat - Mackley Track. Does 

not form a coke. 
(4.) Muddy Creek water-race, 4 ft. Forms a fairly firm coke. 
(5.) Coal Creek, south side of Buller Kiver. Lab. Kep. No. 11, 1876, p. 13. 
(6.) Coal Creek. Analyst, Sidney Fry (personal communication). 
(7.) Coal Creek Mine, 16 ft. seam. Lab. Eep. No. 47, 1914, p. 16. Gives 

a pulverulent coke. 
(8.) Felix Creek, lower outcrop. 

(9.) Felix Creek, 7 ft. seam. Does not form a coke. 
(10.) Nada Creek, large seam. N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17, 1915, p. 173. 

The coal-outcrops found in Slug and upper Pensini creeks, where thicknesses 
of from 4 ft. to 8 ft. occur, and in Blue Duck Creek, where the seam or seams 
appear to be somewhat thinner, have been described in a former publication.* In 
close connection with this northern group of outcrops are the coals occurring in the 
upper valley of Mcintosh Creek. • The outcrops in this locality are very obscure ; 
and beyond stating that the containing beds consist chiefly of flat-lying grit, that 
the coal lies close to the basement rocks, and that the two outcrops marked probably 
belong to the same seam, which is at least 5 ft. thick at the lower outcrop, nothing 
can be said. Passing southward along the western side of this coal-bearing area 
from the lower outcrop in Blue Duck Creek, where 4 ft. of coal in two bands is 



* N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17, 1915, pp. 178-79. 



207 

exposed, the coal-bearing horizon is next represented by a layer of carbonaceous 
shale overlying quartz-porphyry near the point where the Orikaka breaks from its 
gorge. Coal at least 4 ft. in thickness outcrops on the old water-race of the 
Wellington Sluicing Company near Muddy Creek, and what is probably the same 
seam is reported to show on the hillsides between this point and the BuUer River. 
South of this stream 15 ft. of clean fairly hard coal is worked at the Coal Creek 
Mine. The seam is here separated from bleached and decomposed quartz-porphyry 
by grit, perhaps 5 ft. in thickness, and is overlain by 9 in. of grit that passes upwards 
into claystone. Probably the same seam, possibly displaced by a small fault, is 
worked at the Whitecliffs Mine, where the decidedly irregular roof of the seam is 
overlain by grit and fine conglomerate. The floor was not seen, although 16 ft. of 
coal is exposed. The strike at the Coal Creek Mine is 24° west of north, and the 
dip 25° to the eastward ; at WhiteclifEs the figures are 5° west of north and 12° 
to the east respectively. Near the head of Felix Creek (a tributary of Berlin Creek) 
what is probably the same seam outcrops for several chains. The coal is clean and 
hard, and is at least 7 ft. thick, but the floor is nowhere visible. The strike of the 
strata is north and south, and the dip is westward at 20°. 

Three-channel Flat Group. 

The only mine regularly worked in this locality is generally known as the 
Flaxbush Creek Mine, although it is situated on neither of the Plaxbush creeks. It 
is also sometimes called the Cocksparrow Mine, from the fact that it was opened 
in order to supply the dredge of that name, or De Filippi's mine, after the lessee. 
Since the coal obtained was useful only for steaming purposes, the output depended 
entirely on the fuel required by the dredges in the locality. Thus it was opened 
in 1895, but was shut down again in a few months and not reopened imtil 1899, 
from which date it was regularly worked for ten years, 8,000 tons in all being 
extracted. The seam, which was much crushed, and 2 ft. in thickness, dipped at a 
steep angle to the westward, and was worked on a modification of the long-wall 
system, or, rather, by an overhand stoping - system similar to that employed in 
ordinary lode-mining. 

In the valley of Thompson Creek, on the opposite side of the Buller River, a 
seam varying from 2 ft. to 3 ft. in thickness has been stripped and removed to the 
extent of about an acre. The coal was transported in a sluice-box to the mouth of 
the creek, and thence taken by boat to the Mokoia dredge. There is no record of the 
amount of coal removed from this locality. 

The coal-seams of the Three-channel Flat group occur in strata of Miocene age, 
at the northern extremity of the Inangahua graben, where, on the eastern side, 
outcrops or shoad occur in all the streams from Ram Creek to the Flaxbush Mine. 
On the western side coal shows in Thompson Creek, on the hillside on the right 
bank of the Buller opposite De Filippi's house ; and in addition coal -fragments were 
noted in the bed of upper Welshman Creek, while " coal has been reported as 
occurring near Pensini Creek about two miles above its junction with the Buller."* 
These outcrops indicate an area about six miles Ipng, and from two and a half to 
three and a half miles wide, as possibly coal-bearing. 

The outcrop opposite De Filippi's house is 770 ft. above sea-level ; the seam is 
only 2 ft. in thickness, and its relationships are not well exposed. Li Thompson 
Creek numerous outcrops of crushed coal occur. At one place 6 ft. of impure coal 
is apparently underlain by claystone containing numerous marine fossils, but the 



* N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 17, 1915, p. 178. 



208 

whole exposure is greatly crushed and faulted. The lowest outcrop noted showed 
3 ft. of flat-lying coal, while a similar thickness was worked by stripping in a small 
right-hand tributary, the seam here striking north-north-east, and dipping eastward at 
about 30°. The roof and floor consists of green argillaceous sandstone. 

The outcrops along the flank of the Briumer Eange exhibit much more satis- 
factory thicknesses. The poorest of these was worked at the Flaxbush Mine, where 
three seams, 6 ft., 2 ft., and 20 in. respectively, occur. Only the 2 ft. seam was 
worked, the larger one being very dirty. The seams are much faulted, strike north 
and south, and dip 60° or more to the westward. In Little Flaxbush Creek, about 
half a mile to the southward, a seam striking north-west with a dip of 65° to the 
north-east shows 10 ft. of clean coal set in micaceous mudstone contained between 
coarse grit and sandstone. To the dip the seam divides, the lower split maintaining 
a thickness of 2^ ft. of coal, while the upper thins rapidly and, benduig over, joins 
the lower again over a " horse " of mudstone 3| ft. thick. In Big Flaxbush Creek 
two seams occur, the lower 1 ft. and the upper 8 ft. to 10 ft. thick, separated by 
about 12 ft. of alternate layers of sandstone and mudstone. The floor of the lower is fine 
sandstone, and the roof of the upper sandstone and fine grit. The strike is nearly 
north and south, and the dip westward at about 60°. In Ram Creek no coal was 
noted in situ, but in the neighbourhood of the main fault-zone numerous coal- 
fragments occurred in the stream-bed. 



Analyses of Coals of Three-channel Flat Geoxtp. 





(1-) 


(2.) 


(3.) 


(4.) 


(5.) 


(6.) 


(7.) 


(8.) 


1 (9.) 


Fixed carbon 


35-38 


27-13 


42-03 


39-97 


42-54 


37-69 


42-19 


42-54 


38-46 


Volatile hydrocarbons 


42-30 


27-66 


4013 


39-54 


40-89 


42-23 


42-81 


46-35 


45-54 


Water 


16-17 


11-85 


14-67 


17-27 


16-68 


11-55 


14-14 


9-53 


8-26 


Ash 


6-16 


33-36 


3-17 


3-22 


0-89 


8-53 


0-86 


1-58 


7-75 


Totals . . 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


Sulphur 


4-34 


3-57 


4-10 


3-75 


6-48 


5-71 


6-51 


6-04 


6-84 


Specific gravity 




1-71 




1-31 


1-31 










Calories per gramme . . 


5,191 


5,245 








5,387 


5,766 


6,391 


6,043 


British thermal units per pound 


9,343 


9,441 








9,696 


10,379 


11,504 


10,870 


Evaporative power per pound . . 


9-68 


9-78 








10-05 


10-76 


11-92 




Practical evaporative power (60° 


5-81 


5-86 








6-03 


6-46 


7-15 


6-7 


efficiency) 





















(1.) 2 ft. seam, on west side of BuUer River opposite De Filippi's house. 

Does not coke. 
(2.) 6 ft. seam, crushed and rusty, Thompson Creek. 
(3.) 3 ft. seam, about 8 chains to the west of Thompson Creek. Forms 

pulverulent coke. 
(4.) 3 ft. seam, lowest outcrop in Thompson Creek. 
(5.) 10 ft. seam. Little Flaxbush Creek. 

(6.) 2^ ft. lower split of Little Flaxbush seam. Forms pulverulent coke. 
(7.) 4 ft. upper split of Little Flaxbush Creek seam. 
(8.) 10 ft. seam. Big Flaxbush Creek. Forms a pulverulent coke. 
(9.) 1 ft. lower seam. Big Flaxbush Creek. Forms a firm coke. 



Fletcher Creek Group. 
In the basin of Fletcher Creek thick seams occur which up to the present time 
have been neither worked nor prospected. Coal outcrops in the main branch of 
Fletcher Creek and in Coll Creek, a southern tributary, but southward the next 



209 

stream from the moimtains shows the limestone that overlies the horizon resting 
directly on granite. Northward no trace of coal was noted in Hunt or McMurray 
creeks, but in Shag Creek a thick seam (20 ft.) is reported to outcrop about two miles 
above its junction, while a seam at least 4 ft. thick was laid bare by sluicing operations 
in York Creek about a mile from the Inangahua River. This coal-bearing area 
is probably connected with the Buller Gorge area by way of the seams of Nada 
Creek. 

In Fletcher Creek itself there are three large outcrops. The relationships of 
the lowest of these, which is obviously fault-involved, are not clear. To the eastward 
are undoubted Pareora beds, while to the westward the rocks are of the Oamaru 
Series, all steeply dipping. Thus this seam, which is at least 12 ft. thick, may belong 
either to the Oamaru or Pareora series, at the junction of which it outcrops. The 
coal is hard and clean. About a mile farther up the creek a seam from 20 ft. to 
25 ft. thick outcrops. The strike is north -north-east, and the dip easterly at about 
20°. The immediate roof and floor were not observed, but a few feet away consist 
of arkositic grit containing oysters and calcareous algse, and sandstone containing 
shell-fragments and calcareous concretions respectively. About half a mUe farther 
up-stream what was evidently at one time a very thick seam is fault-involved in 
granite. In Coll Creek a seam 12 ft. to 16 ft. thick, with a steep easterly dip, occurs. 
Its strike is about north-north-east, and its relations to the neighbouring rocks were 
obscured by gravels. 

Samples taken from some of these outcrops were analysed, with the following 
results : — 

Fixed carbon . . 

Volatile hydrocarbons . . 

Water 

Ash 



Sulphur .. .. .. .. 0-46 5-64: 4-62 

(1.) Large seam forming lowest outcrop in Fletcher Creek. 
(2.) 25 ft. seam fonming middle outcrop in Fletcher Creek. 
(3.) 12 ft. to 16 ft. seam in Coll Creek. 
None of these formed a coke. 

Reefton Group. 

From Italian Gully on the north to Devil Creek on the south, a distance of 
eight miles, coal outcrops in nearly every stream issuing from the Reefton hills. 
In most of the sections at least two seams of good workable thickness are exposed. 
The coal is semi-bituminous in quality, is a good steam coal, and is considered by 
many to be the best household coal found on the West Coast. 

The writer is informed that a large outcrop was exposed in Soldier Creek close to 
the present township when that creek was " rushed " early in 1867. It is probably 
from this locality that the first coal was mined from the seams of this group. In 
1874 the seams near Capleston are reported to have been discovered, and it appears 
likely that those of the Burke Creek basin were known before this, having, in fact, 
been worked as early as 1873. Cox* in 1875 reports that coal had been mined 
from the; hill to the east of Reefton, and that the Reefton Coal Compau}-, having 

* Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1874-76, No. 9, 1877, p. 78. 
14— Reefton. 



(1.) 

40-52 


(2.) 
38-70 


(3.) 
36-06 


43-91 


40-57 


47-36 


14-04 


17-31 


14-70 


1-53 


3-42 


1-88 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 



210 

constructed a tramway across the top of. the same hill, was preparing to open out 
on a 21 ft. seam outcropping in the Burke Creek fall. The mines in this locality 
were known also by the names of Dudley and New Durham, while that opened in 
Devil Creek, worked by Breen, was called the Newcastle. The earliest report of 
the Inspector of Mines, Mr. G-. J. Binns, states that the seams of Burk Creek* near 
Capleston were being worked by a Mr. H. Dugan in 1879, who packed the coal to 
the township. For many years the mines near Capleston were worked on a very small 
scale, but on dredging commencing in this locality in 1898 the output was increased. 
Two seams outcropping on the Waitahu Biver were first attacked in 1884 and again 
in 1894, but in neither case was more than a few tons extracted, and it was not 
until 1904 that this mine was systematically opened, the lessee on this occasion being 
Mr. J. Scarlett, of Reefton. This mine, like others in the district, has changed 
hands frequently, some of the owners being O'Donnell, Jude, and Rhodes. A seam at 
Madman Creek was opened up by Mr. B,. Cochrane in 1893, but was abandoned in 
the following year. This ground was taken up a few years ago by Messrs. Morris 
and Learmont, and has been worked to some extent by them. The seams outcropping 
in Stony Batter Creek were first opened up in 1898 by Messrs. Cairnes and McLiver, 
and this property afterwards came into the control of Messrs. Harris and Gibson, 
who energetically worked it. Mr. E. Lockington developed a coal-bearing area in the 
Burke Creek basin in 1902, and mining has proceeded here more or less continuously 
ever since. In 1902 Mr. D. Blackadder took up part of the Reefton Town Belt, 
and after a good deal of trouble succeeded in proving a large seam behind the 
crushed and slipped country that in this locality forms the face of the hill. This 
property was acquired by Mr. James Billet in 1906, and has been worked fairly 
constantly up to the present. A higher seam, 4J ft. thick, was found in 1907 by 
Mr. James Morris, and worked to a certain extent by him. The Devil Creek area, 
which in the "seventies" was energetically exploited by Mr. James Breen, and was in 
late years intermittently worked by various owners, was again opened up in 1910 
by Mr. R. L. Kearns, who has taken out a few hundred tons yearly since that date. 
The most northerly coal-outcrop belonging to this group is near the junction of 
Italian Gully with Raglan Creek, where coal mixed with clay and sandstone occurs in 
a crush-zone. Involved in the same fault thick outcrops of crushed coal appear in 
Howell's claim and Burk Creek. In Coal Creek (a small branch of Burk Creek) a 
seam 21 ft. thick and rather crushed is reported, and at its head Archer's mine is 
situated. There two seams of excellent coal, each from 10 ft. to 16 ft. thick, and 
separated by about 60 ft. of gritty sandstone, are worked The faces at the time of 
the writer's visit were standing at a north-west-striking fault, with downthrow to the 
south-west. Coghlan's mine is on the Capleston side of the same hill, the whole western 
face of which is disturbed to a greater or less extent by the fault along Boatman 
Creek, and the coal here mined is in consequence decidedly friable. On the western 
side of the main stream the two seams already mentioned are represented, the upper 
by 5 ft. to 7 ft. of clean hard coal, and the lower by a bed of carbonaceous claystone 
about 4 ft.' thick, and containing perhaps 18 in. of coal. The seams are here about 
80 ft. apart. In Flower Creek, 25 chains farther west, a coal-band 20 in. thick, 
believed to be the upper seam, occurs. On the right bank of the Waitahu River 
three seams outcrop, the highest of which shows from 12 ft. to 16 ft. of clean coal, the 
middle about 5 ft., and the lowest 2 ft. The intervening beds, which in both cases are 
about 100 ft. thick, consist chiefly of grit with minor layers of sandstone and car- 
bonaceous shale. The two larger seams are worked, the faces when visited standing 
against an upthrow fault. South of the river the first signs of coal observed are on 

* H.-18, 1880, p. 13. 



211 

the track to the Inglewood Mine, on which crushed carbonaceous claystone and coal 
occur. On Madman Creek Morris and Learmont have partly developed a 20 ft. seam 
of first-class coal, and the writer was informed that another outcrop occurs about 

15 chains down their tram, in the low hills to the north of it. In Stony Batter 
Creek are two seams respectively 16 ft. and 5 ft. in thickness, while higher up the 
creek is the outcrop of a very large seam, somewhat faulted, but apparently belonging 
to a third seam. The two upper seams are separated by about 100 ft. of sandstone 
and shale, and the higher or 16 ft. seam only is worked. Between Stony Batter and 
Madman creeks several outcrops were visited, and are indicated approximately on the 
map, but their relationships could not be definitely traced. On the eastern side of 
Burke Creek two seams have received attention. That originally opened by Mr. B. 
Lockiirgton is midoabtedly the large seam worked in Stony Batter Creek, although a 
fault of some kind separates the outcrops. The seam is reported to contain stone and 
pyritic bands, and to be about 12 ft. thick. About 20 chains farther up-stream a 
20 ft. seam of clean coal is being worked. On the opposite side of the creek outcrops 
undoubtedly belonging to the same seams have been worked to some extent. The 
seam lowest in the sequence was worked in the " seventies " by various lessees, while the 
other was opened up, although little coal was extracted, by Messrs. Morris and Leish- 
man a few years ago. Cox* reports that the former seam, shows 21 ft. of .coal resting 
on 3 ft. of fireclay followed by a further 3 ft. of coal, while the latter is 10 ft. to 12 ft. 
thick. The two seams outcropping within the Keefton town boundary are separated by 
100 ft. of rock, and exhibit thicknesses (the upper) of 4^ ft. and (the lower) of 12 ft. to 

16 ft. The coal of the latter, however, is inferior, containing ash and pyritic bands. 
In the lower valley of Devil Creek the seams are obviously fault-involved. Coal 8 ft. 
in thickness and standing at a high angle outcrops on the roadside, and is almost 
certainly connected with the large outcrop occurring some 8 chains to the northward 
on the ridge overlooking Soldier Creek. Close to the township of Soldiers several small 
seams having a westerly dip of about 45° were formerly worked ; but as the workings, 
which were approached by dips and shafts, have collapsed, and as no outcrops are 
visible, the writer has nothing to add to Cox's statements.f 

The strike of the coal-outcrops mentioned above varies from north-north-east to 
north-east, and the dips, except where the structure is affected by fault-movements, are 
from 15° to 25° to the north-westward. No doubt as the seams are more extensively 
worked many of the outcrops will be linked up, and definite information concerning 
the extent and. number of the seams will be obtained. With the data at present 
available it may be stated that two seams occur in the Boatman district, and that 
there is no necessity to postulate the existence of more than three seams to explain 
all the outcrops between the Waitahu River and Reefton, although between these 
points the gentle undulations and numerous small cross-faults render some of the 
correlations doubtful. 

In the Boatman's area the lower seam, which supplies the large fault-involved out- 
crops of Howell's claim and Burk Creek, is 21ft. thick in Coal Creek, 12 ft. to 16 ft. 
thick in Archer's mine, and at Capleston is reduced to 4 ft. to 5 ft. of carbonaceous 
claystone. The upper seam averages at least 12 ft. in Archer's property and as much 
in Coghlan's, while on the south side of the creek at Capleston it is 7 ft., and is only 
2 ft. in Flowei' Creek. In the Burke Creek basin the lowest seam in each section 
occurring close to, but at a variable distance from, the basement rock may be safely 
correlated. In Madman Creek there is 20 ft. of coal, in Stony Batter Creek the seam 
is very large, and in Burke Creek the outcrops show from 20 ft. to 24 ft. of coal both 



* Rep. Geol. E.xpl. during 1874-70, No. !t, 1877, p. 78. f lhi,l.. p. 79. 

14*— Heefton. 



212 



on the east and on the west side. Probably also the large lower seam in the Keefton 
Town Belt belongs to the same horizon. Similarly in the Burke Creek basin the out- 
crop worked by Morris and Leishman and that first opened by Lockington may be 
correlated with those worked in Stony Batter Creek. The middle 5 ft. seam of this 
latter creek may well be the smaller seam of the Reefton Town Belt and the lower 
outcrop on Morris and Learmont's tram. Whether the three seams exposed on the 
north bank of the Waitahu belong respectively to the same horizons as the three in 
Burke Creek cannot at present be determined, but the writer regards it as highly 
probable. 

From time to time samples from the numerous outcrops have been analysed in the 
Dominion Laboratory. It is often impossible to state definitely the seam or even the 
locality from which these samples were obtained, and in such cases the analyses are 

not quoted. 

Analyses of Coals of the Reefton Group. 



No. 


locality. 


Fixed 
Carbon. 




Water. 


Ash. 


3 


Remarks. 


1 


Boatman's Creek (probably at 
townskip) 


56-98 


31-37 


9-57 


2-18 


•- 


Evap. power, 7-40 lb. 




2 


Coal Creek (Billet's miae, near 
Capleston) 


57-15 


31-25 


9-46 


2-14 




Evap. power, 7-43 lb. 




3 


Burk Creek (Howell's claim) . 




5000 


38-90 


10-25 


0-85 


2-60 






4 


Coal Creek (Archer's mine) 




49-85 


41-02 


7-66 


1-47 


2-70 


Lower seam 16 ft. 




5 


Coal Creek (Archer's mine) 




48-21 


43-69 


6-38 


1-72 


3-81 


Upper seam 10 ft. 




6 


Coal Creek (Archer's mine) 




44-92 


46-74 


5-26 


3-08 


6-21 


Coke hard and dense ; 12 ft. 


seam. 


7 


Capleston (Archer's mine) 




45-61 


45-26 


6-26 


2-87 


5-70 


7 ft. seam. 




8 


Waitahu 




45-08 


38-76 


9-64 


6-52 


2-76 


2 ft. seam. 




9 


„ 






46-06 


42-93 


10-24 


0-83 




Forms coherent coke ; 6 ft. 


seam. 


10 


„ 






42-24 


47-13 


6-21 


4-42 


4-'8b 


Hard compact coke ; 6 ft. seam. 


11 


", 






42-20 


45-78 


10-19 


1-80 


. , 


Hard coke ; 14 ft. seam. 




12 


Madman Creek 






46-60 


43-32 


8-87 


1-21 




Hard coke ; upper seam. 




13 


»> 






47-39 


46-01 


5-30 


1-30 


2-39 


Upper seam. 




14 


- 






47-67 


42-06 


7-77 


2-50 


1-76 


Upper seam. 




15 








49-07 


41-59 


8-24 


1-10 


0-63 


Lower seam. 




16 


Stony Batter Creek . 






40-20 


28-91 


10-43 


20-46 




10 ft. seam. 




17 








42-39 


46-82 


9-81 


0-98 




8 ft. seam. 




18 








59-99 


29-77 


9-43 


0-81 




Outcrop. 




19 








40-10 


32-99 


9-93 


16-98 


2-87 


5 ft. seam. 




20 








48-51 


40-80 


9-70 


0-99 


1-59 


14 ft. seam. 




21 








42-42 


49-20 


7-28 


1-10 


3-89 


14 ft. seam ; 6,958 calories per 




















gramme. 




22 








42-85 


50-50 


5-66 


0-99 


3-70 






23 
24 








46-00 
47-05 


41-81 
41-20 


9-80 
10-97 


2-39 

0-78 


4-39 
0-94 


LForm firm cokes. 




25 








47-26 


41-13 


9-97 


1-64 


0-86 






26 


Burke Creek (Lockington's mine) 


47-84 


40-83 


10-22 


1-11 


0-79 


20 ft. seam. 




27 


Burke Creek (Reefton Coal Com- 
pany) 


.59-54 


30-93 


9-07 


0-46 








28 


Burke Creek (New Durham) . 




54-09 


37-64 


4-36 


3-91 








29 


Burke Creek (Dudley) 




48-10 


35-88 


14-21 


1-81 








30 


Burke Creek (New Durham) . 




46-46 


32-70 


15-63 


6-21 




4 in. seam. 




31 


Burke Creek 




43-82 


43-85 


10-12 


2-21 




8 ft. seam. 




32 


... 




40-63 


48-20 


9-19 


1-98 




12 ft. seam. 




33 


" ... 




53-87 


29-69 


10-23 


6-21 




10 ft. seam. 




34 


Devil Creek (Kearn's 


mine) 




38-38 


45-86 


9-26 


6-50 


1-51 


8 ft. seam ; sp. gr. l-,32. 





1, 2. Lab. Rep. No. 22, 1887, p. 38. 

6. Lab. Rep. No. 40, 1907, p. 57. 

9. Lab. Rep. No. 28, 1894, p. 6. 

10. Lab. Rep. No. 40, 1907, p. 57. 

11, 12. Lab. Rep. No. 28, 1894, p. 6. 

13. Lab. Rep. No. 44, 1911, p. 9. 

16. Lab. Rep. No. 28, 1894, p. 6. 



References. 



21. Lab. Rep. No. 42, 1908, p. 6. 

22-25. Lab. Rep. No. 48, 1915, p. 15. 

27. Lab. Rep. No. 10, 1875, p. 10. 

28,29. Lab. Rep. No. 19, 1884, p. 23. 

30. Lab. Rep. No. 22, 1887, p. 38. 

31-33. Lab. Rep. No. 28, 1894, p. 6. 



213 

In the neighbourhood of Capleston the seams have both roof and floor of sandstone 
or grit, usually with a few inches of shale intercalated next the coal. Farther south 
the containing beds are finer in grain, and both roof and floor generally consist of 
shale or shaly sandstone. Beds of fireclay several feet in thickness overlie the 5 ft. 
seam on the north bank of the Waitahu, and the thick seam worked at Madman 
and Stony Batter creeks, and underlie the seam lowest in the sequence outcropping 
in the latter stream. 

Plateau Group . 

Under this heading is included all the fragments of the once continuous sheet 
of Oamaru coal-measures that covered the Reefton plateau to the base of Victoria 
Range on the east and overlapped the flanks of Mount Kirwan on the north. Only 
small fragments now remain, isolated and protected from denudation by crustal move- 
ments. Southward of Merrijigs Hill the rocks have been entirely removed. The most 
important coal-bearing areas are the Murray-Lankey creeks area, Merrijigs area, Rainy 
Creek area, and, largest of all, the Garvey Creek - Kirwan Hill area. In addition 
there are at least three very small coal-bearing patches on Globe Hill, and several 
others on the hills lying between the Rainy Creek and Deep Creek areas and the 
Inangahua River. 

The first coal won in the Reefton district was mined from the Murray Creek 
seams to supply fuel to the Ajax battery. This was late in 1870. The seams from 
this small area still yield, after many years, a larger annual output than those of 
any other area in the Reefton district. In the early days each lode-mining company 
in the vicinity had a small coal lease from which it obtained its fuel as required. 
Such were the Westland, Ajax, Golden Fleece, Energetic, Golden Treasure, Phoenix, 
Inglewood, and Venus. The various coal leases were gradually grouped, until at 
present only three pits are working, known as Moyle's, Knight's, and Billet's. The 
Lankey Creek area, which is continuous with that of Murray Creek, was first worked 
in 1874, and has been constantly though irregularly worked by various owners. Some 
years ago it was acquired by the Progress Mines, and from it the fuel required for 
their smelting plant was obtained. The property was later transferred to the Con- 
solidated Goldfields, and is worked to furnish fuel to the winding and compressing 
plant at the Energetic shaft. 

The seams at Rainy Creek were first opened in 1876 to supply the boilers of the 
Rainy Creek battery, and this pit was again worked by the Supreme Company in 
1888, in which year also the Inkerman Company acquired a lease. The most active 
mining in this locality was during the early years of the century, when the Inkerman 
Combined Mines were . at work. With the closing-down of that gold-mine coal-winning 
entirely ceased. 

Coal-mining in the Merrijigs area was commenced hi 1888 to supply the boilers 
of the Union battery. "Work soon ceased, however, and it may be stated that the 
demand for coal is entirely dependent on the requirements of the lodc-muies of the 
vicinity. Of these the Progress has been by far the largest consumer. Two pits were 
at work at the time of the writer's visit in 1914 — that in the basin of Slab Hut Creek 
originally opened by the Sir Francis Drake Company, and that in the Progress Creek 
owned at different times by Breen, Loughnan, Billet, and Kearns. 

The Deep Creek area was first attacked by the Cumberland Company, of which 
the mine was situated close to its battery. This pit was closed in 1895 when that 
mine ceased to yield ore. Quite recently the Big River Company has opened a 
pit near the head of Golden Lead Creek, and supplies the requirements of its winding 
and compressing plant therefrom. 



214 

Up to the present no attempt has been made to work or prospect the seams 
of the Garvey Creek - Mount Kirwan area. 

In the Murray Greek - Lankey Creek area two seams exist which exhibit very 
variable thickness. At Lankey Creek, where the beds are relatively imdisturbed 
and lie fairly flatly, the lower of these may average 9 ft., while the upper is about 
4 ft. thick. At Murray Creek the seams are very much thicker : thus in Knight's 
mine the seams are 26 ft. and 22 ft. thick, and are separated by' about 6 ft. of dirty 
coal ; at Moyle's mine, which lies on the saddle towards the Waitahu fall, one 
seam only was seen, 10 ft. in thickness. The reason for this rapid variation may 
be that the seams overlie a great fault-zone certainly older than themselves. Along 
this zone irregular depressions would tend to be formed by erosion, and in them 
the vegetable accumulations would vary much in thickness. 



Analyses of Coals of the Platbatt Grottp. 



No. 


Locality. 


Fixed 
Carbon. 


Volatile 
Hydro- 
carbons. 


Water. 


Ash. 


i 

9 


Remarks. 


1 


Murray Creek 


53-96 


35-87 


8-18 


1-99 






2 


Murray Creek (Golden Treasure 
Mine) 


59-22 


30-17 


9-60 


1-01 




22 ft. seam. 


3 


Murray Creek (Trennery's mine) 


52-83 


33-15 


9-61 


4-40 




22 ft. seam. 


4 


Murray Creek (Phoenix Mine) . . 


56-18 


32-24 


9-61 


1-97 




25 ft. seam. 


5 


Murray Creek (Knight's mine) . . 


50-43 


43-12 


5-20 


1-25 


0-42 


7,"214 calories per gramme. 


6 


Murray Creek (Moyle's mine) . . 


52-11 


43-74 


2-72 


1-43 


1-02 


Coal crushed and tender. 


7 


Lankey Creek 


51-76 


37-26 


10-19 


0-79 






8 




58-01 


33-29 


6-79 


2-01 




Cokes well. 


9 




56-01 


31-79 


6-15 


4-05 




12 ft. seam. 


10 




51-05 


40-40 


6-60 


1-95 


2-05 


7 ft. seam ; 6,940 calories 
per gramme. 


11 


Merrijigs 


46-67 


43-51 


7-61 


2-21 


4-66 


5ft. solid coal; sp. gr. 1-29 


12 


Big River Mine 


52-61 


39-94 


3-35 


4-20 


0-41 


Crushed coal. 


1.3 


Garvey Creek 


48-82 


44-17 


4-08 


2-93 


2-36 


4 ft. solid coal. 



1. Lab. Rep. No. 19, 1885, p. 23. 

2-4. Lab. Rep. No. 22, 1887, p. 38. - 

5. Lab. Rep. No. 40, 1907, p. 57. 

7. Lab. Rep. No. 18, 1883, p. 42. 



8. Lab. Rep. No. 19, 1885, p. 23. 

9. Lab. Rep. No. 22, 1887, p. 38. 
10. Lab. Rep. No. 40, 1907, p. 57: 



In the Eainy Creek area only one seam appears to be developed. Where worked 
by the Inkerman Company this was from 5 ft. to 6 ft. thick, and dipped eastward 
at 60°. The Supreme Company's claim was at a higher level, and there the seam 
was about 8 ft. thick and nearly horizontal. On the Big River Road a tunnel was 
driven by the Industry Company to prospect an auriferous lode. Before reaching the 
lode-bearing greywacke this passed through a 3 ft. seam of coal, dipping at about 45° 
to the eastward. 

The Deep Creek area is similar in structure to that just described, being involved 
along the same fault-zone. The seam, however, here seems to be rather thicker, and 
where worked by the Cumberland Company showed from lift, to 16ft. of clean 
coal, rather crushed and dipping steeply to the westward. At the Big River Mine the 
seam appears to lie nearly horizontally, is from 10 ft. to 16 ft. thick, but has been 
so crushed by earth -movements as to yield practically only slack coal. 

The Merrijigs area has also been very detrimentally affected by faulting. A 
patch of relatively flat-lying solid coal occurs between the heads of Progress, Slab 
Hut, and Fossicker creeks. Even this small area is traversed by faults, and a good 
deal of exceedingly crushed coal has been mined from the eastern side of Progress 



215 

Creek. Where solid the coal is from 5 ft. to 6 ft. thick, but near the old Inkerman 
shaft only 2 ft. outcrops. In the abandoned Progress Coal-mine the pulped coal was 
from 1 ft. to 10 ft. thick. In the old Sir Francis Drake Coal-mine, which lies a 
few chains south of Slab Hut Creek, and now supplies part of the demands of the 
Progress Mines, the coal is highly crushed, and reaches a thickness of 12 ft. 

The Garvey Creek - Mount Kirwan area covers several square mUes, and is de- 
cidedly less affected by faults than any other area of the group. Very little is known 
concerning the coal-seams it may contain, and only one outcrop has been examined ; 
this was of a 4 ft. seam occurring in upper Garvey Creek. The strata in the vicinity 
were imdisturbed, and had a westerly dip of about 10°. Coal 6 ft. thick is reported 
to outcrop in several of the small streams draining from the hills a little south of 
Garvey Creek, and in one of them coal-fragments were observed. McKay* in 1874 
noted the occurrence of a seam of coal of unknown thickness and apparently good 
quality, and dipping eastward at less than 50°, about two miles down-stream from the 
Waitahu forks. This was not observed by the writer. Mr. W. Kirwan states that 
a large fault-involved coal-outcrop occurs in the creek immediately to the west of 
Kirwan Creek, and in the same locality coaly material is reported to exist at the 
base of the grits lying to the west of Trigonometrical Station Z. This is doubtless 
a similar occurrence to the crushed coal found on the Mount Kirwan Track near 
the saddle between Topfer and Boatman creeks. 

There are on record many analyses of samples of the coals of this group, but 
these are chiefly from the seams of Murray and Lankey creeks. No doubt the 
crushing and heating of the coal through earth-movements have influenced its com- 
position. But even where there is no indication of faulting the seams contain coal 
of a decidedly higher grade than that of the seams of the Reefton group, with which 
they are very closely connected, and of which at one time they may possibly have 
formed a part. 

Waiwhero Group. 

That a coal-bearing horizon underlies the Cobden limestone in the district between 
the lower Punakaiki and Barrytown is shown by the thick outcrop of coal occurring 
in Waiwhero Creek. This was not visited by the writer, but he was informed that 
the coal was 20 ft. in thickness, dipped steeply to the westward, and was a clean, 
hard, brown coal. On theoretical grounds it is probable that the coal-seams of this 
locality will exhibit decided lenticularity, and that the most productive area will lie in 
the middle basins of the Porarari and Punakaiki rivers. 

Garden Gully Group. 

This group is situated in the Moonlight Creek basin, and contains only two small 
patches of coal-bearing rock separated by the valley of McCarthy Creek. The large 
seam outcropping in Fitzgerald Creek has been worked open-cast to a limited extent 
to supply fuel to the Moonlight dredge. The coal was transported to the foot of the 
creek by means of a sluice-box, and thence carted to the dredge. 

In this locality a seam 24 ft. thick stands vertically between Pala30zoic gre^^wacke 
on the one side and soft green sandstone of Oamaru age on the othei'. In the area 
to the north and in the basin of Garden Gully a thick seam outcrops for several 
chains at the old township, and again in a small tributary farther up-stream. The 
coal is here horizontally disposed, and rests on rather incoherent grit and quartz 
conglomerate about 20 ft. above rotten greywacke. The seam is overlain by soft, blue, 



* Rep. Geol. Expl. duririf; 187:i-74, No. 8. 1S77. ii. 94 



216 

argillaceous sandstone. Another thick outcrop occurs at a Hgher level, on Jenkin's 
water-race ; but probably only one seam is present, the difference in elevation being 
due to fault-movements. 

The coal is of the composition shown in the appended table : — 



Fixed carbon 


34-49 


(2.) 

35-60 


(3.) 
35-00 


(4-) 
34-39 


Volatile hydrocarbons 
Water 


48-51 
16-35 


46-63 
17-17 


47-07 
17-11 


43-84 
19-45 


Ash 


0-65 


0-60 


0-82 


2-32 



100-00 100-00 100-00 100-00 



Sulphur .. .. .. 4-82 4-69 3-07 4-54 

Specific gravity .. .. 1-20 1-19 1-16 1-23 

(1.) Upper 12 ft. of seam, Fitzgerald Creek. 

(2.) Lower 12 ft. of seam, Fitzgerald Creek. 

(3.) Thick seam, Jenkui's water-race. Garden Gully. 

(4.) 20 ft. seam, towuohip. Garden Gully. 

Brighton Group. 

The thick seam underlying part of Welshman Terrace near Brighton was probably 
discovered soon after the gold " rush " to that place, and an analysis of the coal from 
this seam was made in 1866. The coal has been mined to a slight extent for house- 
hold purposes, and has also been used by the small steamers that at one time traded 
to Brighton. 

About 80 ft. above sea-level a seam 8 ft. thick occurs in the face of the sea-cut 
terrace about half a mile north of the mouth of the Fox River. The same seam, this 
time about 30 ft. above sea-level, shows near the base of a bluff on the north bank of 
the Fox River about 100 chains from its mouth. The coal varies here from 5 ft. to 
8 ft. in thickness, and is underlain by rather incoherent grit containing irregular car- 
bonaceous material, and overlaia by soft sandstone and sandy claystone, followed by 
limestone of Oamaru age. In both localities the seam may be 20 ft. to 50 ft. above 
the underlying Mawheranui beds. On Francis's farm, about three miles south of the 
Fox River, a coal-seam 16 ft. thick, diminishing half a mile southward to 5 ft., out- 
crops at several points along the flank of the hills at about 320 ft. above sea-level. 
As far as could be observed, the containing beds were similar to those farther north, 
and the seam is certainly on the same horizon, if not actually continuous, with that 
of the Fox River. Probably outcrops connecting those already known wiU be dis- 
covered ia the future. On the foothills of the Paparoa Range north of Bullock Creek 
is a small patch of coal-bearing strata containing seams up to 8 ft. in thickness. The 
locks are involved, together with breccia conglomerate of Mawheranui age, in a great 
fault-zone, one seam actually appearing to dip beneath the gneissic granite of the 
mountains. The writer did not visit these outcrops, and the area may belong either 
to the Oamaru Series (as mapped) or to the older bituminous coal-measures. The 
seams have no commercial value.* 

In the writer's opinion, the prospect of obtaining seams of considerable areal extent 
are decidedly more favourable in this area — which was, during early Oamaru times, 
sheltered from the full force of the waves by the granite headland now forming Gentle 
Annie Rocks- — than in the Waiwhero area. 

* See N.Z. G.S. 5th Ann. Rep., 1911, C.-2, p. 12. 




o 



O 






o 



o 
o 

o 

o 

K 



o 



K 
PL, 



<^3 






217 
The following table includes all published analyses : — 



Fixed carbon 
Volatile hydrocarbons 
Water 
Ash 



(1.) 


(2.) 


(3.) 


(40 


(5.) 


41-08 


34-26 


29-48 


34-12 


35-45 


26-92 


31-76 


48-64 


43-90 


44-49 


21-54 


20-18 


17-36 


15-61 


16-32 


10-46 


13-80 


4-52 


6-37 


3-74 



100-00 100-00 100-00 100-00 100-00 



Sulphur .. .. .. .... .. 5-65 5-51 0-59 

Specific gravity .. .. .... .. .. 1-34 1-26 

(1.) Lab. Rep. No. 2, 1867, p. 16. Probably from Welshman Terrace. 

(2.) Lab. Rep. No. 29, 1894, p. 5. Welshman Terrace. 

(3.) Lab. Rep. No. 45, 1911, p. 9. Brighton. 

(4.) From seam 100 chains up Fox River. 

(5.) From 16 ft. seam on Francis's farm. 

Oiles Creek Group. 
In Giles Creek two very large outcrops of coal-seams belonging to the Pareora 
Series occur. The first, which is about two miles and a half above the junction of 
that stream with the Inangahua, shows two seams striking a little east of north, 
dipping 30° to the eastward, and separated from one another by about 12 ft. of sand- 
stone and shale. The upper, which is overlain by carbonaceous mudstone, shows 8 ft. 
of coal with two partings. The lower is at least 30 ft. thick, although the floor was 
not observed, and has a thin parting about 5 ft. from the roof. These seams may be 
traced for about 10 chains along the rill that joins the main stream just above the 
outcrop, and large lumps of coal occur in a rill about 20 chains to the northward. 
About a mile and a half farther up-stream another very large outcrop may be observed, 
but here neither roof nor floor can be seen. 

Whether these outcrops belong to the same seam or to different seams of the 
same horizon the writer would hesitate to say. The coal is hard and tough, and has 
the following composition : — 

(1-) (2.) 

Fixed carbon . . .. .. .. .. 39-16 39-12 

Volatile hydrocarbons . . . . . . . . 40-63 40-42 

Water .. .. .. .. .. 18-46 17-16 

Ash .. .. .. .. .. .. 1-75 3-30 



100-00 100-00 



Sulphur .. .. .. .. .. 0-41 0-20 

(1.) From the upper outcrop. Analysis made by the writer in 1908. 
(2.) From the lower outcrop. Lab. Rep. No. 44, 1910, p. 8 (there 
referred to Stony Creek). 

Camf Creek Group. 
There are a great number of outcrops of coal in botli branches of Camp Creek, a 
small tributary of Brown Stream, which itself flows to the Inangahua. Several folds 
and faults are undoubtedly present, and probably not more than tliree or four seams 
actually exist. The seams vary up to 20 ft. in thickness, are very lenticular, and 
tend to grade into carbonaceous claystone most irregularly. In all, eight samples were 
taken — four from each branch — but as the composition of the coal calculated on an 



218 



ash-free basis shows but little variation, the position from which each sample was 
taken need not be more precisely designated. The coal-outcrops which occur in lower 
Coal Creek (tributary of the Inangahua), and of which a thickness of 3 ft. only was 
observed, undoubtedly belong to the same series of seams as are developed in Camp 
Creek. The containing beds are similar in appearance, and the structure in both 
areas is essentially the same— namely, a dip of about 30° to the south-east. 

Quite close to the base of the Brunner Range the same beds, which are con- 
sidered to be of Pareora age, occur, and also contain coal-seams at several points. In 
Dee Stream the seams outcrop in three sets, of which both the lowest and the highest 
exhibit three seams, each about 3 ft. in thickness, and separated by conglomerate and 
claystone. The middle outcrop shows 4 ft. of coal. All the seams dip eastward at 
angles of from 30° to 70°. In Rough Creek two thin seams, separated by claystone 
containiag excellent leaf-impressions similar to those of Camp Creek, are found, the dip 
being 50° to the south-east. In Dunphy Creek, the main branch of the Landing 
Stream, are coal-seams 18 in. and 4 ft. thick respectively, interbedded with claystone, 
grit, and conglomerate. They strike nearly north and south, and dip about 75° to 
the westward. 

Analyses of coal from some of the outcrops mentioned are as follows : — 



Locality. 



Fixed 
Carbon. 



Volatile 






g 


Hydro- i 


Water. 


Ash. 


^, 


carbons. 






5 



Remarks. 





(40-37 


39-11 


19-18 


1-34 


0-63 


Sp.gr. 1-30. 


Right-hand branch of Camp Creek 


41-11 

38-57 


37-52 
38-07 


20-04 
20-43 


1-33 
2-93 


0-63 
0-66 


Sp.gr. 1-32. 
Sp.gr. 1-33. 




34-88 


37-57 


17-73 


9-82 


5-06 


Sp.gr. 1-36. 




(36-07 


37-89 


19-32 


6-72 


2-26 




Left-hand branch of Camp Creek . . 


38-71 
39-36 


38-02 
39-21 


19-92 
19-19 


3-36 

2-24 


0-66 
0-70 






32-88 


35-49 


16-47 


15-16 


1-43 


Sp.gr. 1-42. 


Dee Stream (lowest outcrop) 


39-48 


41-46 


14-89 


4-17 


2-92 


5,969 calories per gramme. 


Rough Creek . . 


43-23 


37-70 


17-05 


2-02 


0-93 


Sp.gr. 1-34. 


Dunphy Creek . . 


34-29 


48-39 


15-64 


1-78 


1-92 


Forms soft coke ; 18 in. seam. 


Dunphy Creek . . 


33-80 


49-62 


15-28 


1-30 


2-31 


Forms soft coke ; 4 ft. seam. 



Ultimate Analyses. 

The following ultimate analyses of coals from the Oamaru Series have been made 
in the Dominion Laboratory : — 





Felix Creek. 

No. 9 
(page 206). 


Capleston. 

No. 4 
(page 212). 


Capleston. 
No. 5 

(page 212). 


Madman 

Creek. 

No. 14 

(page 212). 


Stony 

Batter Ch-eek. 

No. 20 

(page 212). 


Carbon 


60-89 


67-16 


67-16 


66-91 


66-44 


Hydrogen 


6-19 


6-74 


6-56 


6-45 


6-44 


Nitrogen 


0-84 


0-59 


0-56 


0-60 


0-70 


Oxygen 


25-98 


21-34 


20-19 


21-78 


23-84 


Sulphur 


2-65 


2-70 


3-81 


1-76 


1-59 


Ash .. 


3-45 


1-47 


1-72 


2-50 


0-99 


Calorific value (from ultimate 


5,993 


6,889 


6,904 


6,730 


6,596 


analyses) 













Output of Coal. 
Fairly complete statistics of the production of coal from the various mines of the 
Reefton Subdivision have been regularly published by the Mines Department since 



219 



1879, as well as total approximate outputs prior to that date. The following table 
compiled from the Mines Eeports shows the production from various areas with as 
great a degree of completeness as the case admits of :• — 

Production of Coal-mines of the Rebfton Subdivision. 





Buller 
Gorge. 


Three- 
channel 
Flat, 


Boatman 
Creek. 


Burke 
Creek. 


Beefton. 


Devil 
Creek. 


Merrijigs. 


Inker- 
man. 


Murray 
Creek. 


Deep 
Creek. 

i 


Total 
Annual 
Output. 




Tons. 


Tons. 


Tons. 


Tons. 


Tons. 


Tons. 


Tons. 


Tons. 


Tons. 


Tons. 


Tons. 


Prior output 






300 


166 




2,000 






5,500 




7,966 


1879 






300 


20 




300 






1,612 




2,232 


1880 






230 


31 




360 


. . 




2,480 




3,101 


1881 






400 


170 










1,432 




2,002 


1882 






346 


600 




240 






1,641 




2,827 


1883 






524 


349 




200 


614 




1,646 




3,333 


1884 


20 




308 


6 










1,017 




1,351 


1885 




, . 


181 












1,000 


1,130 




2,311 


1886 






244 












340 


2,225 




2,809 


1887 


6 




.538 














1^242 




1,786 


1888 






172 










'480 




2,603 




3,255 


1889 






159 










400 


300 


2,162 




3,021 


1890 






450 










1,330 


500 


3,730 




6,010 


1891 


i37 


, . 


480 








i55 


775 


330 


2,816 




4,693 


1892 


36 




222 








259 


1,134 


231 


2,222 


300 


4,404 


1893 


101 




310 


410 






1,420 




1,594 


480 


4,315 


1894 


100 




300 


370 


'40 




1,701 




1,981 


200 


4,692 


1895 




230 


300 








1,839 




2,089 


90 


4,548 


1896 


400 




315 








874 


. . 


2,006 




3,595 


1897 


55 














240 


2,625 




2,920 


1898 


12 






688 




'40 


'5I6 


355 


3,066 




4,676 


1899 


25 


i60 




581 






1,276 


154 


2,466 




4,662 


1900 


. , 


568 




1,197 






1,256 


405 


1,621 




5,047 


1901 


837 


391 


'soo 


1,453 






1,960 


520 


1,369 




7,330 


1902 


1,469 


500 


1,740 


1,216 






2,179 


581 


3,044 




10,729 


1903 


2,298 


800 


2,080 


362 


228 




2,120 


1,450 


3,943 




13,281 


1904 


2,090 


1 1,139 


2,008 


164 


750 




2,. 397 


2,400 


3,971 




14,919 


1905 


1,043 


' 1,249 


2,071 


764 


228 




3,181 


500 


3,699 




12,735 


1906 


1,062 


1,533 


1,956 


418 


515 




2,957 




5,210 




13,651 


1907 


1,036 


699 


1,282 


1,228 


1,142 




3,268 




3,829 




12,484 


1908 


806 


460 


1,222 


1,642 


726 




j 2,801 




3,037 




10,694 


1909 


819 


366 


1,462 


1,573 


366 


'73 


2,470 




3,373 




10,502 


1910 


549 




1,179 


2,341 


130 


135 


3,588 




6,529 




14,451 


1911 


446 




1,764 


3,677 




540 


2,730 




4,739 




13,896 


1912 


315 




2,219 


4,050 


i97 


510 


1,313 




2,757 




11,361 


1913 


123 




926 


4,834 


1,463 


327 


2,103 




4,055 




13,831 


1914 


114 




204 


3,683 


455 




2,165 




3,802 


832 


11,255 


Totals . . 


13,899 


8,095 


26,992 


31,993 


6,240 


5,139 


48,847 


9,306 


104,262 


1,902 


256,675 



OTHER DEPOSITS OF ECONOMIC VALUE. 
Clays and Claystones. 

The upper and lower beds of the G-reymouth Series consist to a great extent of 
claystone-layers, some of which are probably well adapted for the manufacture of 
bricks, tiles, &c., while some if mixed with limestone would without doubt be suitable 
for the production of cement. Many of the beds, howevei', are too sandy for these 
purposes. These claystones differ in no essential featuie from those of similar age in 
the adjoining subdivisions, and their chemical composition may bo judged from the 
analyses given in Bulletin No. 13, page 95, and Bulletin No. 17, page 129. The 
deposits of Pleistocene age contain a considerable proportion of clayey material, but 
the admixture of sand and gravel is neaily always considerable. Recent clays, either 
residual or transported, are not abundant. The sandy clays of Liverpool Dave and 
Soldier creeks, near Reefton, have been derived from the much decomposed Tertiary 



220 



breccia tliat occupies a small area in this neighbourhood. They have been used to a 
small extent for brickmaking. Deposits of silt, which in the North Blackwater shaft 
were 80 ft. thick, occur in the vicinity of Waiuta and at various points over the 
plateau country between the Inangahua and the Big Grey rivers. A similar but small 
deposit occurs above Crushington, where it is exposed in the old Globe race and again 
on a low terrace near Lankey Creek. This material, which is always light-coloured, is 
probably a glacial silt or rock-flour rather than a true clay. A pure- white sample from 
near Crushington had the following composition : — 

71-4 



Alumina (AI2O3) 


17-9 


Iron oxides (FcjOg, &c.) 


14 


Lime (CaO) 


0-3 


Magnesia (MgO) 


0-7 


Water and organic matter . 


5-7 


Alkalies and undetermined . 


2-6 



100-0 

Dr. Maclaurin remarks that this material " might prove suitable for certain classes 
of fire-goods."* 

Little fireclay is associated with the coal-seams of the Eeefton Subdivision. The 
only beds noted by the writer occur in connection with the seams of the Burke Creek 
group, where the fireclay underlies and overlies the coal indifferently. Test firebricks 
were made at Brunnner of material from this locality some years ago. The following 
analyses of the clays are available : — 



— 


(l-)t 


(2.)t 


(3.)t 

1 


(4.)t 


(5.) 


(6.) 


Silica 


58-90 


43-10 


62-07 


60-40 


49-87 


53-15 


Titanium dioxide 










. . 


1-14 


1-60 


Alumina 




22-10 


25-80 


20-14 


21-86 


30-09 


38-17 


Iron oxide 




3-80 


1-70 


2-17 


2-26 


2-64 


1-84 


Lime 




1-00 


0-90 


0-15 


0-10 


Nil 


0-60 


Magnesia 




0-60 


0-70 


0-85 


0-53 


1-36 


0-99 


Alkalies . . 






1-90 


3-05 


2-83 


4-80 


4-22 


Water at 100° C. 




} 12-00 


25-90 


1 1-17 


1-27 


1-46 


Nil 


Combined water and organic 


1 10-28 


10-90 


8-21 


Nil 


matter 














Undetermiaed 


1-60 


-- 


•- 


-■ 


-• 


-• 






100-00 


100-00 


99-88 


100-15 


99-57 


100-57 



t Lab. Rep. No. 40, 1907, p. 13. 



t Lab. Rep. No. 48, 1915, p. 17. 



The first five analyses represent samples from seams in Stony Batter Creek, No. 5 
being from a thick layer below the coal-seam outcropping farthest up the stream. 
No. 6 is from a bed at least several feet thick overlying the 20 ft. seam worked 
by Morris and Learmont in Madman Creek. The sample contained 43-17 per cent. 
of organic matter and water, which was burnt off, and the analysis is of the residue. 
These clays, though not of the highest quality, should prove of considerable 
value. 



* 40th Ann. Rep. Col. Lab., 1907, p. 13. 



221 

Alum Shale. 

Between the main branches of Lankey Creek a thick layer of Devonian mudstone 
is overlain by a quartz conglomerate of Tertiary age. The conglomerate contains 
much iron sulphide, apparently in the form of marcasite, and this is also present, 
but not nearly so abundantly, in the mudstone. The conglomerate is nained for its 
detrital gold, and in the operation a considerable amount of the argillaceous rock is also 
removed. When exposed to the weather this breaks up, and quickly becomes coated 
with a white efflorescence consisting of soluble sulphates of aluminium and iron. 
Analyses of this material gave the following results* : — 

Aluminium sulphate (AJj 8(804) ISHjO) 

Ferrous sulphate (FeSO^ THgO) 

Silica (SiOa) 

Alumina (AI2 O3 ) 

Iron oxides (FejOj, &c.) .. 

Iron sulphide (FeSg ) 

Lime (CaO) 

Water and organic matter 

Undetermined 



8-29 


5-94 


6-02 


5-49 


51-63 


65-64 


20-61 


12-96 


2-46 


1-05 


2-66 


3-45 


0-08 


0-17 


7-75 


3-93 


0-50 


1-37 



100-00 



100-00 



Dr. Maclaurin* remarks that the material is of good quality, agreeing in com- 
position with the well-known and extensively worked alum shales of Yorkshire. He 
doubts, however, whether alum could be made at a profit, owing to the high cost 
of necessary potash salts and of labour. 



Limestone. 

Limestone of Tertiary age is abundant in the Reefton Subdivision, but it is 
frequently too impure to be of value for commercial purposes. Enormous quantities 
of good-quality limestone exist in the coastal region, but these deposits are at present 
difficult of access. In the Inangahua valley limestone covers a considerable area 
on the eastern flank of the Paparoa Range, from Fletcher Creek northward to 
Inangahua Junction and thence down the Buller to Berlin's. Thick layers of high- 
grade rock occur, but usually the limestone contains a considerable proportion of 
clayey matter, and is suitable foi- the manufacture of cement rather than for the 
production of quicklime. Analyses Nos. 4 and 5 below are of rocks that have very 
nearly the composition of a cement stone, while a mixture of a " fat " limestone 
such as No. 1 and a calcareous claystone like No. 6 would also produce an excellent 
Portland cement. Ample supplies for all purposes of material having similar com- 
position are available. 

A quarry was opened in Devonian limestone, on the main road about a mile above 
Crushington, to supply limestone for the smelting charge of the Progress concentrates. 
Owing to the early suspension of smelting little rock was used for this purpose. 
Mr. Thomas Watson has burnt this limestone in a kiln successfully, and has used the 
product with highly satisfactory results on his farm in the upper Inangahua valley, 
opposite the junction of Rainy Creek. A sample taken by the writer from this quarry 



* Lab. Rpp. No. 40. 1907, p. 18. 



222 

was found to contain 84'81 per cent, of carbonate of lime. Analysis No. 3 below also 
represents a sample from the Devonian limestone of this locality. 





(1-) 


(2.) 


(3.) 


(4-) 


(3.) 


(6.) 


Silica (SiOa) 


1-70 , 


6-36 


7-55 


13-20 


14-15 


47-55 


Titanium dioxide (TiOg) 






, . 




n.d. 


0-98 


Alumina (AI2O3) .. 


0-17 


1-59 


2-12 


1-92 


3-00 


19-36 


Ferric oxide (FejOg) 


0-36 








1-28 


7-80 


Manganous oxide (MnO) 


0-06 




. . 




n.d. 


n.d. 


Lime (CaO) 


5342 


50-78 


48-70 


46-07 


43-62 


4-18 


Magnesia (MgO) . . 


0-53 


0-82 


0-85 


0-24 


0-71 


1-84 


Phosphorus pentoxide (P20g) 


0-51 


0-05 


0-25 


0-26 


n.d. 


n.d. 


Carbon dioxide (COj) 


42-36 


39-60 


38-50 


35-70 


33-96 


4-00 


Soda (NajO) . . ) 
Potash (K2O) 


0-26 


0-24 


1-03 


1-36 


0-71 


( 0-98 
\ 2-16 


Water and organic matter . . 


0-54 




1-00 


1-25 


2-57 


11-30 


Totals .. 


99-91 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


100-15 



(1.) Purest band of limestone in gorge, Hunt Creek, Reefton Survey District. 
(2.) Totara Plat, 46th Ann. Rep. Dom. Lab. 1913, p. 14. (Sample may have 

been taken from small outcrop in Fitzgerald Creek, Waiwhero Survey 

District. 
(3.) Crushington, 46th Ann. Rep. Dom. Lab., 1913, p. 14. Devonian limestone. 
(4.) Inangahua, 46th Ann. Rep. Dom. Lab., 1913, p. 14. (Sample probably 

obtained from basin of Fletcher Creek.) 
(5.) Average argillaceous limestone below gorge, Hmit Creek, Reefton Survey 

District. 
(6.) Calcareous claystone, BuUer Gorge Road, east of Coal Creek, Inangahua 

Survey District. Bull. No. 17, 1915, p. 129. 



Bttilding-stones. 

G-ranite occurs in great abundance, forming the main portion of the Paparoa, 
Victoria, and Brunner ranges, and can furnish an inexhaustible supply of building- 
material. There are several well-marked varieties, of which perhaps the most orna- 
mental is the pink granite through which McMahon Creek (a small branch of the 
Te Wharau) has cut its way. Grey granites are far more abundant, a beautiful 
medium-grained variety occurrmg on the flanks of Mount Gore. Mount Albert is 
composed largely of a fine porphyritic rock, while the road through the Liangahua 
valley in this localit)^ (Waitahu Survey District) exposes a dense brownish-grey rock 
of pleasing appearance. 

The greywackes of the Aorere Series have been quarried for large stones for use 
in river-protection works. They are hard and tough, but their irregular jointing would 
cause the production of much waste material. 

Crinoidal, corallme, and shell marbles occur among the Devonian limestones of the 
subdivision, and are without doubt capable of furnishing ornamental stone of great 
beauty. Unfortunately, the thinness of the various layers, combined with their irregular 
jointing, makes the chance of getting large blocks, or even a large supply of similar 
material, rather doubtful. 



223 

The sandstones of Tertiary age, where they readily break into slabs, have been 
used in building rough walls and chimneys. The quality of this stone is very poor, 
and its use will never be more than local. 

The limestones of similar age are also generally suited only for local use. The 
rock in the neighbourhood of Brighton is much purer than in other parts of the 
subdivision, and beds of great thickness occur. The stone is fine-grained and homo- 
geneous, and could probably be worked in a lathe or carved in bas-relief, and would 
readily take a smooth surface, and perhaps a polish. Large massive blocks could 
be easily obtained. AVTrite, buff, and faint-pink varieties were noted. The difficulties 
of transport in this out-of-the-way locality will almost certainly prevent this stone being 
used for many years. 

Two small veins of alabaster from 6 in. to Sin. thick were intersected in the 
Kirwan's Reward low-level adit, but are of no commercial value. The rocks in this 
locality are much shaken, and are well above ground-water level. It is likely that 
the alabaster was deposited in open fissures by down-seeping solutions, the sulphate 
of lime being probably produced by the action of sulphuric acid, derived from the 
oxidation of pyrite, on the greywacke. 

ROADMAKING-MATERIAL. 

Roadmaking- material is everywhere abundant in the subdivision. Lr the neigh- 
bourhood of Reefton greywacke is quarried for macadamizing-material, but elsewhere 
stream-gravels are generally used, the larger pebbles being removed or broken. Along 
the coast marine gravels serve the same purpose, but the smooth rounding of all 
the pebbles militates against the consolidation of road-surfaces made from such deposits, 
even when a large proportion of broken cobbles is included. The Late Tertiary schist 
conglomerates and the half-decomposed gravels of the Old Man Bottom Series furnish 
material that forms an excellent surface for light traffic. 

Oil-shale and Petroleum. 
Underlying the thick coal-seam worked in Stony Batter Creek is a layer of pyro- 
shale, reported to reach sometimes a thickness of 3 ft. This burns readily, and a 
sample was found to contain 2 per cent, of oil. The odour of petroleum is distinctly 
perceptible in freshly fractured limestone from Fletcher and Flaxbush creeks and the 
Punakaiki River. 

Platinum. 
Platinum or some similar metal is reported to occur in the form of flattened 
grains associated with the detrital gold won by the Worksop and Boatman Creek 
dredges, and also in the auriferous gravels north of the Ten -mile Creek.* It is probably 
widespread throughout the alluvial deposits of the Inangahua and Grey A^alleys, but 
owing to the smallness and very sparse distribution of the grains they are rarely 
noticed. It has probably been derived from the belt of magnesian rocks traversing the 
main Alpine chain eastward of the subdivision, although the pyroxenite dykes of the 
subdivision ought also to be considered in this connection. 

Arsenic anu Antimony. 
The mines of the Reefton district produce annually about 1,400 tons of concen- 
trates, which are shipped either to smelters or other treatment plants in Australia. 
These concentrates are valued entirely according to the amount of gold they contain. 



N.Z. G.S. BuU. No. 13, 1907, p. 91. 



224 

At the Boolaroo works in Victoria the material is first roasted and the arsenical fumes 
condensed, while from the residues, after the extraction of the gold and grinding in 
berdans, a colouring -material used in the mixing of haematite paint is produced. 

Other Metallic Sulphides. 

A veinlet of galena, barely an inch in thickness and containing only 8 oz. of 
silver per ton, was discovered in No. 3 level of the Caledonian Mine. It cut out after 
being driven on for a few feet. Crystals of galena also occur in a quartz vein near 
the head of Moonlight Creek. The antimonial ores of the Reefton district sometimes 
contain lead, perhaps in combination with antimony and sulphur, as jamesonite or some 
other sulph-antimonide. The concentrate of the Murray Creek mines, which carries up 
to 7 per cent, of antimony, also contains 1 per cent, of lead, while bismuth is reported 
to have been detected in that from the Supreme Mine. 

Several of the quartz lodes of the Paparoa area contain a little molybdenite,* and 
a small vein outcropping along the rill discharging to the sea half a mile south of 
Maukurunui Bluff was prospected for this mineral, with unsatisfactory results. A sample 
from a small lode in greywacke in McConnochie Creek was found to contain less than 
0-05 per cent, of molybdenum, and this was the most promising-looking outcrop noted 
during field-work. Fragments of pegmatite containing molybdenite and chalcopyrite 
were found among the gravels of the Waitahu and Larry rivers. 

Copper in the form of chalcopyrite seems always to be associated with molybdenite, 
and such ore then contains an appreciable amoxmt of silver, but very little gold. Thus 
the small quartz vein in McConnochie Creek above referred to carried 1'65 per cent, 
of copper and over 17 dwt. of silver per ton. Chalcopyrite also occurs sparingly in 
the gold-bearing lodes of the Paparoa area, and still more rarely in some Reefton 
mines (Blackwater, Big River, and Fiery Cross). Green stains due to copper carbonate 
were noted in the large non-auriferous quartz lodes of Bateman Creek (Reefton Survey 
District) and in a joint-plane in hornfelsic greywacke in Dilemma Creek (Brighton 
Survey District). 

Cassiterite, etc. 

Cassiterite in water -worn grains has long been known to be sparingly distributed in 
the Lankey Creek " cements."^ It has also been reported to occur in Blacksand and 
Ten-mile creeksj (Waiwhero Survey District), while a sample from Healy Gully sluicing 
claim, just without the subdivision, was found on analysis to contain 1-05 per cent, 
of tin. 

Rare earths — cerium, thorium, &c.- — almost certainly contained in monazite, are 
widely distributed throughout the subdivision. This mineral is, like zircon and garnet, 
probably universally present in all stream and marine gravels. Concentrate from the 
Moonlight dredge was found to contain 0'S5 per cent, of rare earths, that from the 
Slab Hut dredge 2-8 per cent, (with less than 0-1 per cent of thorium),§ and that 
from Healy Gully sluicing claim 0-28 per cent. Monazite has also been detected in 
concentrates from the Merrijigs and the Lyell hydraulic sluicing claims. 

Tungstic acid, probably in wolfram, was present in a sample of the Moonlight 
dredge concentrate (which also contained 0-67 per cent, of bismuth) to the extent of 
0-77 per cent. Scheelite, almost certainly derived from veins in the mountains at the 
head of the Buller, occurs in the sluicing claims near that river below Lyell, and at 
Newton Flat, eight miles up-stream from that township. Small hand-specimens have 
been picked up on the river-beaches as far from their source as Inangahua Junction. 

* 31st Ann. Rep. Col. Lab., 1898, p. 21. f 16th Ann. Rep. Col. Mus. and Lab., 1882, p. 41. 

X N.Z. G.S. Bull. No. 13, 1907, p. 91. § 40th Ann. Rep. Col. Lab., 1907, p. 25. 



225 



Iron- ORES. 



Auriferous blacksand occtirs in the present and raised sea-beaches along the coast. 
They consist chiefly of magnetite and ilmenite, and probably contain in small amount 
many of the minerals mentioned in the preceding section. Siderite occurs in small 
masses in connection with the diabase dyke of the Blackwater Mine Concretions of 
carbonate of iron containing clay and some carbonaceous matter, and showing leaf- 
impressions, were collected by McKa}^* from the bed of Garvey Creek when that stream 
was being worked for gold. Samples of this material are to be seen in the Reefton 
School of Mines. A spathic iron-ore containing 40'61 per cent, of metallic iron has 
also been found in Moonlight Creek.f 

A small deposit of rubbly bog iron-ore outcrops on the saddle track between Pain- 
killer Creek and the Ulster Mine. A sample of this when analysed gave the following 
result : — 

25-26 



Alumina (AUOg) . . 


4-65 


Ferric oxide (FejOg) 


52-80 


Lime (CaO) 


Nil 


Magnesia (MgO) . . 


0-06 


Phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5) 


0-13 


Water and organic matter . . 


17-00 


Alkalies and undetermined . . 


0-10 




100-00 



Equivalent to metallic iron . . . . 36-96 

The sample of similar material analysed in 1906, and containing 43-12 per cent, of 
metallic iron,f was probably from the same deposit, which occurs on a remnant of 
high-level terrace at a height corresponding with that of the tablelands between the 
Inangahua, Waitahu, and Larry rivers. Doubtless other similar deposits exist on these 
terraces where they abut against a mineralized zone of greywacke, as in the above 
instance, or against the pyritized lower beds of the Greymouth Series. It is probable 
that the ferruginous clay of Liverpool Dave Creek§ is thus to be accounted for. Bog 
iron-ore is forming at the present time in suitable localities near the coast, the iron 
being derived from the deposits of blacksand so abundant in that region.. 

* " On the Geology of the Reefton District, Inangahua County." Rep. Geol. Explor. during 1SS2, 
No. ir>, 1883, p. 148. t 30th Ann. Rep. Col. Lab., 1897, p. 14. J 40th Ann. Rep. Col. Lab., 1907, p. 20. 
§ McKay, A. : Loc. cit. 



15 — Reefton. 



326 



INDEX. 



Absolum Creek, 52, 187. 

Adams Bros., prospectors, 20, 161. 

Adamstown Creek, gold-workings of, 183. 

Aerial trams, 26. 

Agriculture, 3.3, 34. 

Air-compressors, introduction of, 24. 

Ajax group of mines, 144-52. 

Alexander River, 52, 187. 

Allison and party, 195. 

Alluvial gold — 

Areal distribution of, 190. 

Distribution in wash, 196. 

Source of, 189-91. 
Alpine lode : Behaviour in depth, 128. 
Alpine meadows, height of, 4. 
Alterations in drainage, 51-54. 
Alum shale, 221. 
Analyses — 

Alum shale, 221. 

Ashes of fuels, 200. 

Bog iron-ore, 225. 

Fii-eclays, 220. 

Glacial silt, 220. 

Igneous rocks, 109, 110. 

Limestones, 222. 

Rocks near Wellington, 72. 

Rocks of Aorere Series, 71. 
Analyses of coals — 

Brighton group, 217. 

Buller Gorge group, 206. 

Camp Creek group, 218. 

Fletcher Creek group, 209. 

Fox River group, 204. 

Garden Gully group, 216. 

Giles Creek group, 217. 

Reefton group, 212. 

Reef ton plateau group, 214. 

Three-channel Flat group, 208. 

Ultimate, 218. 
Anderson, James, prospector, 20, 151. 
Anglo-Continental Company, 133, 147. 
Antimony and arsenic, 223. 
Antonio Creek, 18, 183, 194. 
Antonio's Flat, 14. 
Aorere rocks — 

Absence of fossils in, 70. 

Age and correlation of, 71. 

Distribution of, 69. 

Petrology of, 70. 

Relationship to Devonian Series, 74-78. 

Ripple-marks in, 70. 

Structure of, 69. 

Succession of, 70. 
Arable land, 33. 
Area of Reefton Subdivision, 1. 
Arsenic and antimony, 223. 
Arsenopyrite, occurrence of, 117, 120. 
Ashes of fuels, nature of, 200. 
Auld Creek, 21, 53, 158, 160. 
Auriferous deposits — 

Fluviatile recent, 186, 187. 

Marine recent, 187-189. 

Pleistocene, 180-186. 

Tertiary, 178-180. 
Awarau River, 39. 



B. 



Ballarat shaft. Progress Mines, 158. 
Ballroom cave, 45. 
Barrytown, 14, 18, 188. 
Bartrum, J. A., quoted, 43. 
Basalt, occurrence of, 108. 
Bateman, Thomas, prospector, 131. 
Batteries — 

Early, 20, 144, 174. 

For blacksand, 188. 
Beeohe, J. B., 147. 
Bibliography, 7-13. 
Bier worth and party, 160. 
Big Blow, 20, 163. 
Big Grey River, 40, 187. 
Big (Freeth) River, 41. 
Big River, 14, 40, 52. 
Big River group of mines, 169-171. 
Binns, G. J., quoted, 32, 210. 
Bird, Mr. Warden, quoted, 139. 
Bishop, T. 0., quoted, 154, 175. 
Bismuth, 224. 

Blackball Creek, 18, 41, 186. 
Black's Pomt, 14. 

Blaokwater Creek, gold- workings of, 18, 183. 193. 
Blackwater River, 14, 41. 
Blind shoots, 176. 
Boatman Creek, 18, 39, 193. 
Bolitho Bros., 20, 179. 
Bog iron-ore, 225. 

Brighton, gold-workings at, 14, 18, 187. 
Brighton plateau, 36, 64, 65. 
Broad, Mr. Warden, quoted, 39. 
Brunner Range, 36. 
Brunner, Thomas, explorations of, 5, 6. 
Buckley Terrace, wash of, 188. 
Building-stones, 222. 

Buller and Grey rivers, comparison of, GO. 
Buller River — 

Gold-dredgmg on, 191-193. 

System, 38-40. 
Buller United syndicate, 132. 
Bullock Creek, 37, 48, 80. 
Burley, J., 205. 
Butter -factories, 33, 34. 



Caledonian group of mines, 130-132. 

Campbell, M. R., quoted, 203. 

Camptonites, 107. 

Canoe Creek, 14, 37. 

Caples, P. Q., prospector, 135. 

Capleston — 

Cement at, 20, 179. 

Group of mines, 135. 

Township, 14. 
Carton Creek, gold- workings of, 18. 
Carton, Edward, prospector, 163^ 184. 
Cassel Gold-extraction Company, 138. 
Cassiterite, 179, 224. 
Cave Creek, 37. 
Cave Point, 42. 
Caves, distribution of, 45. 
Cement, auriferous, 19, 20, 178, 179. 
Cement Town, 14. 
Cerium, 224. 
Chalcopyrite, 117, 224 



227 



Chaplin, Henry, 135. 
Chlorination process, 26. 
Clarke, James, prosjDector, 20, 135. 
Clays and claystones, 219, 220. 
Climate, 2. 
Coal-bearing area — 

Buller Gorge, 205. 

Coastal region, 201. 

Fox River, 205. 

Grey valley, 200. 

Porarari River, 204. 

Reefton plateau, 213. 
Coal- 
Ash of, 200. 

Composition of, 201. 

Effect of age on, 202. 

Effect of escape of gas on, 203. 

Effect of heat on, 202. 

Effect of pressure on, 202. 

Mining methods, 31, 32. 

Original substance of, 201. 

Production of, 219. 
Coal-pits — 

Burke Creek, 210. 

Capleston, 210. 

Deep Creek, 214. 

Devil Creek, 210. 

Garden Gully, 215. 

Lankey Creek, 214. 

Merrijigs, 213. 

Murray Creek, 214. 

Rainy Creek, 214. 

Reefton, 210. 

Rocklands, 205. 

Three-channel Flat, 207 

Waitahu, 210. 
Coal-seams (see also Coal-pits) — 

Blue Duck Creek, 206. 

Brighton, 216. 

Bullock Creek, 216. 

Camp Creek, 217. 

Coal Creek, 210, 218. 

Col Creek, 209. 

Correlation of, 211. 

Dee Stream, 218. 

Dunphy Creek, 218. 

Distribution of, 200. 

Felix Creek, 207. 

Fitzgerald Creek, 215. 

Flaxbush Creek, 208. 

Fletcher Creek, 209. 

Flower Creek, 210. 

Fox River, 204, 216. 

Francis's farm, 216. 

Garvey Creek, 215. 

Giles Creek, 217. 

Little Flaxbush tireek, 208. 

Madman Creek, 211. 

Mcintosh Creek, 206. 

.Mount Kirwau, 215. 

Mutldy Creek, 207. 

Origiii of, 197. 

Porarari River, 204. 

Reefton Town Belt, 210. 

Rough Stream, 218. 

Soldier Crook, 211. 

Splitting of, 198. 

Stony Batter Creek, 211. 

Thompson Crook, 207. 

Waiwlioro (Jreek, 215. 
(Joastal depression, 42, 53. 
('oastal rivor-.systom, 37. 
("oast-lino. 42, 43. 
Cobden limestone, relations of, 89-91. 



Coffee Creek, wash of, 184. 
Coghlan and party, 193. 
Colinton, 14. 

Concentrates, treatment of, 26. 
Concentration, methods of, 25. 
Conglomerates, aui-iferous, 178. 
Conradsen and party, 181. 

Consolidated Goldfields of New Zealand, 22, 27, 31, 
138, 140, 145, 147, 148, 151, 152, 156, 162, 
167, 172. 
Cook, Captain James, 5. 
Cornish Town, cement of, 179. 
Costs — 

Development, 29. 

Mining, 30. 

Treatment, 30. 

Working, 30. 
Cox, S. Herbert, quoted, 7, 71, 74, 78, 92, 104, 105, 

106, 209, 211, 213. 
Craig, Robert, prospector, 151. 
Cronadun — 

Gold- workings of, 182. 

Township, 14. 
Crushing plants, early, 20. 
Crushington — 

Group of mines, 152. 

Township, 14. 
Curtis Bros., 176. 
Cyanidation, methods of, 27. 
Cyanide process, introduction of, 21, 25, 162, 170. 



D. 

Dams and water-races, 16. 
Danks, J., prospector, 172. 
Deadman River, 37. 
Deepest workings, 152. 
De Filippi and party, 192. 
Devereux, John, prospector, 137. 
Devonian rocks — 

Age and correlation of, 78, 79. 

Distribution of, 73. 

Palaeontology of, 79. 

Relation to Aorere Series, 74-78. 

Structure of, 73. 

Succession of, 73, 74. 
Diabase dykes, age of, 105. 
Diabasic rocks, petrology of, 108, 109. 
Diamond drill. 21, 144, 148, 176. 
Dilemma Creek, 37, 69, 224. 
Doogan, H. F., prospector, 169. 
Drainage alterations, 51-54. 
Dredging (see also Gold-dredguig) — 

Examination of areas, 196, 197. 

History of, 19, 191-195. 
Duffer Creek, 18, 185, 195. 
Duffy Bros., prospectors, 131, 171. 
Dun^ W. S., quoted. 78. 
D'Urville, Dumont, 5. 
Dykes, distribution of, 102, 103. 



B. 

Earth-movements, 111, 112. 
Economic geology, 113-225. 
Ettingshau.sen. ('. von, quoted, 94. 
Eureka syndicate, 195. 
Eyans, Henry, prospector, 136. 161. 
Extraction of gold, table of, 27. 



228 



F. 



Falla, William, jarospeotoi', 158. 
Faulting, lode-courses, &o., 55-61. 
Faults (see also under Quartz-mines) — 

Age and nature, 55, 56. 

Black's Point zone, 61. 

Blackwater zone, 61. 

Boundary Peak, 61. 

Glasgow, 60. 

Kir wan, 61. 

Lower Buller, 59. 

Murray Creek zone, 61. 

Paparoa, 60. 

Paparoa zones, 68, 59. 

Pre-Tertiary zones, 65-59. 

Punakaiki, 65. 

Reefton zones, 57, 58. 

Roa, 60. 

St. Kilda, 65. 

Ten-mile, 60. 

Tertiary, 59-61. 
Fauna, 4, 5. 

Feldspar-porphyrite, 106. 
Field-work and acknowledgments, 2. 
Financial conditions of mining, 31. 
Finlayson, A. M., quoted, 120. 
Fu'eclay : Relation to coal-seams, 198. 
Fireclays, analyses and occurrence of, 220. 
Fire-damp, occurrence of, 32. 
Fissure -filling of lodes, nature of, 117. 
Flaxbush Creek, 40, 60. 
Flax-milling, 33. 
Fletcher Creek, 40, 45, 209. 
Floors due to faulting, 141, 176. 
Flora, 4. 

Flower Creek, 18, 210. 
Fluviatile gravels — 

Pleistocene, 94-99, 180. 

Recent, 100, 186. 
Fluvio-glacial deposits, 101. 
Foreland, Alpine, 68. 
Four-mile Creek, 38, 63. 
Fox River, 18, 37, 53, 80, 204, 216. 
Freeth River, 41, 60. 
Frying-pan Creek, 18, 182. 
Furnace — 

Chlorination, 26. 

Reverberatory, 26. 

Roasting, 26. 



G. 



Gaffney, Thomas, prospector, 135. 
Galena, 117, 224. 
Garnet, 109, 110, 224. 
Geology, outline of, 68, 69. 
Giles Stream, 53, 217. 
Gill, Jolm, prospector, 19, 170. 
Glacial deposits, 98, 101. 
Glaciation — 

Effects on scenery, 66. 

Pleistocene, 97. 

Recent, 101. 
Globe Hill, 14, 20, 21. 
Globe-Progress group of mines, 156-160. 
Gneiss — 

Age of, 104. 

Distribution of, 101. 
Gold, composition of, 117. 
Gold-dredges — 
- A 1, 193. 

Antonio's Creek, 194. 

Blackwater River, 194. 

Boatman's Creek, 193. 

Caledonia, 194. 



Gold-dredges — continued. 

Oocksparrow, 191. 

Consolidated, 192. 

Exchange, 192. 

Feddersen's, 193. 

Fiying-pan Creek, 193. 

Garibaldi, 195. 

Golden Lead, 194. 

Golden United, 196. 

Greymouth Lagoons. 19.3. 

Grey River Consolidated, 194. 

Hessey-Cameron-Taoon, 193. 

Merrimac, 193. 

Mokoia, 192. 

Moonlight, 195. 

Mosquito No. 1, 194. 

Mosquito No. 2, 195. 

Murray's Freehold, 194. 

Old Diggings, 192. 

Premier, 192. 

Reeves' Proprietary, 193 

Rocklands Beach, 192. 

Shellback, 196. 

Slab Hut Creek, 194. 

Sullivan's Lead, 195. 

Totara Flat, 195. 

Waipuna, 194. 

Welcome, 193. 

Whiteclifis, 191. 

Worksop, 194. 
Gold-5redges, types of, 195. 
Gold-dredging — 

Boatman Creek, 193. 

Grey valley, 194, 196. 

Main factors in, 196, 197. 

Mawheraiti basin, 193, 194. 

Middle Buller valley, 191-193. 
Golden Lead group of mines, 168, 169. 
Gold extracted, i^ercentage of, 27. 
Gold, first discovery of, 17. 
Gold-ore, secondary enrichment of. 119. 
Gold-workings — 

Blackball group, 186. 

Cronadun group, 182, 183. 

Granville group, 184, 185. 

Ikamatua group, 183, 184. 

Inangahua Junction group, 181. 

Landing Creek group, 181, 182. 

Merrijigs plateau, 184. 

Moonlight group, 185, 186. 

Soldiers group, 183. 

Squaretown group, 183. 

Three-channel Flat group, 180, 181. 
Gold yields, annual, 22. 
Gordon, H. A., quoted, 150, 182. 
Gorges of streams from Paparoa Range, 51. 
Graham and Allen, 161. 
Granite — 

Age, 103, 104. 

Distribution, 102.' 
Granulite, hornblende, 108, 109. 
Granville, 14, 184. 

Grey and Buller rivers, comparison of, 50. 
Grey-Inangahua graben, 41, 63, 97, 98. 
Greymouth Series — 

Age and cori'elation, 92. 

Deposition, 86, 87. 

Distribution, 83, 86, 87. 

Fossils, 93. 

Origin of detritus, 89. 

Palseontology, 92. 

Structxu'e, 85. 

Succession, 83. 
Greymouth-Westport coastal road, 16. 
Grey River, 40, 41, 50. 
Grey, Sir George, 6. 



229 



H. 

Haast, Sir J. von — 

Explorations of, 6. 

Quoted, 17, 37, 45, 71, 82, 191. 
Half-ounce Creels, 18. 
Hamilton, Frank, 148. 
Hansen and party, 192. 
Harrison and Gilstrom, 192. 
Harvey, William, prospector, 160. 
Hawk's Crag breccia — 

Distribution, 80. 

Origin, 81-83. 
Healy Gully, 60, 185. 
Heapliy, Charles, explorations of, 5. 
Hector, Sir James, quoted, 6, 74, 78, 94, 190. 
Hessey and Cameron, 191. 
History, early, o, 6. 

Hokitika-Nelson river, hypothetical, 190, 191. 
Hornblende granulite, 109. 
Hornblende rock, 108. 
Horirfels, 70. 

Hunt, Patrick, prospector, 148. 
Hutton, F. W., quoted, 78, 103, 105, 109, 199, 202. 



Igneous dykes, 102, 103. 
Igneous rocks — 

Age, 103-106. 

Analyses, 109, 110. 

Distribution, 101-103. 

Petrology, 106-109. 
Ikamatua, 14, 183, 194. 
[nangahua-Grey grabon, 41, 63, 97, 98. 
Inangahua Junction, 14, 181. 
Inangahua River, 38, 39, 40, 52, 67. 
Industries, 17-34. 
Inland Road, 16. 
Iron-ores, 225. 
Italian Gully group of mines, 132, 133. 



Joker adit, 173. 
Jones and party, 1 i 



K. 



Kelly, James, prospector, 20, 144. 

Kingswell, P. N., 1.34, 145, 172. 

Kirwan Range, physiography of, 36. 

Kirwan group of mines, 133-135. 

Kirwan, William, prospector, 23, 1.33, 170, 215. 

Kynnersley, 15. 



Labour conditions, 28, 29. 

Lagoons, 44. 

Lake Margaret, 53. 

Lake Raliui, 43, .54. 

Lamination of ore, cause of, 118. 

Lamjjrophvres, 107. 

Landing Creek, 14, 39, 181, 218. 

Lankoy Crook, 18, 19, 20, 53, 74, 75, 179. 

Larry forks, auriferous deposits of, 187. 

Larry River, 39, 101. 

Loe,'T. Hubert, 172, 192. 

Lees, Robert, prospector, 161. 

Levels — 

Grade, 23. 

Interval between, 23. 

Size, 23. 

Ventilation, 24. 



Limekiln, 221. 
Limestone, 221. 
Lines, Job, 205. 
Little Grey River, 40. 
Little Landing Creek, 18, 182. 
Lochnagar Range, 35. 
Loclcington, Elisha, 144, 210. 
Lode-fissures, systems of, 115. 
Lode-mining — 

Future of, 176, 177. 

History of, 20-23. 
Loss of gold, 27, 137. 
Lowlands, 41. 
Low Level adit, 21, 145. 
Lyell Creek, 17, 180. 
Lyell Hydraulic Sluicing Company, 180. 
Lyell, quartz veins of, 127. 
Lynch and party, 182. 



M. 



Mackay, James, quoted, 6, 100. 

Mackley River, 38. 

MacLeod, W. A., quoted, 106. 

Maiden Creek, 184. 

Manuka Flat, 181. 

Maori Gully, 14, 18, 160, 184. 

Maori Gully group of mines, 160. 

Marble, Devonian. 222. 

Marine deposits, 99, 187. 

Marshall, P., quoted, 72, 78, 103, 104, 106. 

Martin's winze, 162. 

Martin, William, prospector, 23, 172. 

Maruia Road, 15. 

Mawheraiti basin, gold-dredging in, 1 93, 1 94 

Mawheraiti River, 40. 

Mawheranui River, 40. 

Mawheranui Series — 

Age and correlation, 81. 

Base, 81. 

Distribution, 80, 81. 

Structure, 80. 

Succession, 81-83. 
McCafferty, John, prospector, 137. 
McDonald, — , cyanide plant of, 170. 
McDonald, Donald, prospector, 173. 
Mcintosh, — , prospector, 180. 
McKay, Alex., quoted, 7, 55, 
'78, 82, 97, 98, 99, HI, 
21.5, 22.5. 
Maclaurin, Dr. J. S., 2. 
Means of communication, 15, Ki. 
Morrijigs, 14, 21, 161, 184, 213. 
Merrijigs group of mines, 101-168. 
Metailiforous lodes, 114-177. 
Metamorphio rocks, occurrence of lixles in, 127. 
Metamorphism contact, nature of, 70. 
Mines. {See under Quartz-mines and ('oal-|(its). 
Minerals in lodes, distribution of, 1 18. 
Minerva Claim, wash of, 180. 
Mining — 

(;osts of lode-, 29, 30. 

Dotrital gold, 17. 

Methods of lode-, 23-25. 

Terms, 114. 
Molybdenite, 117, 224. 
Monazito. 224. 

Moonlight (^rook, 14, 18, 20, 41, 
Moonlight, (Jeorge, i)rosi)ector, 
Moi'gan, P. G., quoted, 82. 104 
Mountains, 35. 36. 



58, 71, 72, 74. 75. 
135, 160, 187, 190, 



17(), 185. 186, 195. 

185. 

. 176. 



230 



N. 



Napoleon Hill, auriferous nature of, 184. 
Neilsen, Henr_y, prospector, 175. 
Newell Arber," E. A., quoted, 197, 201. 
New Zealand Land Company, 5. 
Nile River, 38. 
Nobles Creek, 18, 185. 



0. 



Oamaru Series — 

Distribution, 83, 84. 

Structure, 85. 

Succession, 86-89. 
Odinite, 107. 
Oil-shale, 223. 
Okoriko Point, 42. 
Old Diggings, 17, 186, 192. 
Omonehu Creek, 37. 
Ore in depth — 

Distribution, 118, 119. 

Persistence, 125, 126, 128, 129. 

Variation, 123, 124. 
Ores, treatment of, 25-27. 
Oriental Creek, 20, 53. 
Orikaka plateau 36, 64. 
Orikaka River, 38. 
Orikaka vallej^ track to, 16. 
Orlando Creek, 76. 
Otututu River, 40. 
Oweka River, 6. 



Painkiller group of mines, 143, 144. 

Pakihiroa beach, 42. 

Pakihis, distribution of, 48, 49. 

Paparoa group of mines, 174-176. 

Paparoa horst, 62. 

Paparoa Range. 35 

Pareora Series — 

Deltaic beds, 83, 84. 

Distribution, 84. 
Park, J., quoted, 71, 78, 97, 103, 104, 111. 
Perotti, Gerald, 156, 160, 175, 186. 
Perpendicular Point, 42. 
Petroleum, 223. 
Pettigrew and party, 134, 
Physiography, 35-54. 
Phoenix syndicate, 143. 
Plateaux and hiUs, 36. 
Platinum, 223. 

Pleistocene and Recent, separation of, 99 
Pleistocene deposits — 

Age and correlation, 98, 99. 

Auriferous nature, 180, 182, 183. 

Classification, 94. 

Deposition, 96-98. 

Distribution, 95, 96. 

Glacial material, 97. 
Population, 14. 

Porarari River, 37, 48, 53, 204. 
Potikohua River, 37. 
Potter, Joseph, prospector, 21, 130, 161. 
Progress Junction, 14. 
Pulley, — , prospector, 179. 
Punakaiki River, 37, 59, 90. 
Punangahaire River, 37. 
Pyroshale, 223. 
Pyroxenite, 108. 



Q. 



Quartz lodes, genesis of, 121-129. 
Quartz-mines — 

Al, 169. 

Ajax, 144, 148. 

Alexander, 170. 

Alexandra, 135. 

Alhambra, 136 

Alpine, 128. 

Anderson's, 144, 151. 

Argosy, 158. 

Argus, 136. 

Band of Hope, 147. 

Big Blow, 161. 

Big River, 169, 171. 

Big River North, 171. 

Big River South, 171. 

Blaokwater, 172. 

Blaokwater North, 172, 173 

Blackwater South, 173. 

Boatman's Creek, 135. 

Bonanza, 160. 

Brutus, 151. 

Caledonian, 1.30, 131. 

Colorado, 144. 

Comstook (Capleston), 136. 

Comstock (Murray Creek), 147 

Conquest, 170. 

Corrie's Reward, 176. 

Croesus, 175. 

Cumberland, 162, 167. 

Dauntless, 152. 

Deering's Wonder, 176. 

DiUon, 143. 

Earl Brassey, 135. 

El Dorado, 135. 

Empire, 173. 

Empress, 158, 160. 

Energetic, 152, 153. 

Energy, 153. 

Eureka, 136. 

Exchange, 162, 167. 

Fiery Cross, 135, 140. 

GaUant, 161, 166. 

Garden Gully, 175. 

Garibaldi, 133. 

General Gordon, 158, 160. 

Gladstone, 143. 

Globe, 156. 

Golden Arch, 132, 133. 

Golden Fleece, 144, 148. 

Golden HiU (Big River), 170. 

Golden HiU (Murray Creek), 147. 

Golden Hope, 160. 

Golden Lead, 168, 169. 

Golden Ledge, 152. 

Golden Point, 160. 

Golden Treasure, 144, 147. 

Great Eastern, 136. 

Happy Valley, 161. 166. 

Hard-to-Eind, 166. 

Heather BeU, 152. 

Hercules, 152, 155. 

Hit-or-Miss (Capleston), 135, 136. 

Hit-or-Miss (Kirwan HiU), 134. 

Homeward Bound (Capleston), 136. 

Homeward Bound (Paparoa). 176. 

Hopeful, 135. 

Imperial (Capleston), 136, 141. 

Imperial (Blackwater), 173. 

Inangahua Low Level Turmel, 145. 

Independent, 152. 

Industry, 162. 

Inkerman, 161, 162, 163. 

Inkerman South, 164. 



231 



Quartz-mines — continued. 

Inkerman West, 161, 164. 

Invincible, 151. 

Italian Gully, 132. 

Just-in-Time, 135, 141. 

Keep-it-Dark, 152, 153. 

Kirwan's Reward, 133, 135. 

Kohinoor, 160. 

Lady of the Lake, 136. 

Last Chance, 169. 

Lee's, 172. 

Lone Star, 137, 141. 

Lord Brassey, 134. 

Lord Edward, 170. 

Lucky Hit, 136. 

Macedonian, 152. 

Main Reef, 134. 

Mark Twain, 135. 

Mars, 152. 

Matthias, 170. 

Merrie England, 161. 

Merrijisjs, 169. 

Millerton, 173. 

Minerva, 175. 

Moonlight, 174. 

Mount Paparoa, 175. 

Morning Star, 160. 

Murray Creek, 145. 

National, 170, 171. 

New Discovery, 160. 

Newhaven, 134, 135. 

New Scotia, 162. 

Nil Desperandum, 155. 

No. 2 South Keep-it-Dark, 152, L55. 

No. 2 South Larry's, 130, 131. 

North Star, 145. 

Northumberland, 168. 

Occidental, 136. 

O.K., 168. 

Oriental, 156. 

Orlando, 137. 

Pactolus, 136, 142. 

Pandora, 152, 155. 

Perseverance, 148. 

Phoenix (Inglewood), 144, 145. 

Phoenix (Ulster), 143. 

Poneke, 176. 

Pride of Reefton, 143. 

Progress, 156. 

Prohibition, 172, 173. 

Prophet, 176. 

Rainy Creek, 161, 163. 

Reform, 136. 

Result, 148. 

Rose of Lancaster, 136. 

Royal, 148. 

Saraty's, 172. 

Scotia, 161, 166. 

Searchlight, 170. 

Sir Charles Russell, 143. 

Sir Francis Drake, 161, 166. 

Snowy Creek, 171. 

Southern Cross, 142. 

South Wealth of Nations, 152, 155. 

Souvenir, 160. 

Specimen Hill, 136, 142, 155. 

St. George, 170, 171. 

Sunlight, 176. 

Supreme, 161, 163. 

TafiEy, 175. 

Ulster, 143, 144. 

Undaunted, 152. 

Union, 156. 

United, 162. 

Venus, 145, 150. 

Victoria, 144, 14.5. 

Victory (Lyell), 128. 



Quartz-mines — continued. 

Victory (Murray Creek), 148. 

Vulcan, 162. 

Wealth of Nations, 152. 

Welcome, 135, 138, 139. 

Welcome No. 2, 136. 

Wellington, 147. 

Westland, 147. 
Quartz of lodes, nature of, 117. 
Quartz-porphyry, distribution of, 102. 
Quigley's Track, 16. 



R. 

Railways, 15. 

Rainfall, 3. 

Rainy Creek, 18, 52, 75, 163, 213. 

Ranft, Theodor, prospectoi, 158. 

Razorback Point, 18, 45. 

Recent and Plei.9tooene, .separation of, 99. 

Recent deposits, 99-101. 

Recovery of lo.st lodes, 177. 

Redman Creek, 18, 182, 193. 

Reefton, 14. 

Reefton district : Early gold discoveries, 20. 

Reefton plateau, 36, 64. 

Rejuvenation of streams by elevation, 46-49. 

Republic Sluicing Company, 185. 

Ripple-marks in Aorere rocks, 70. 

River-formed terraces, 46. 

Rivers, 37-41. 

Roadmaking-material, 223. 

Roads, 15, 16. 

Roaring Meg Stream, 41, 53. 

Robin, Robert, prospector, 161. 

Rochfort, John, explorer. 6. 

Rock-borers, 21, 24, 136, 144. 

Rock-temperatures, 129. 

Rogers, H., prospector, 171. 

Rough River, 40. 

Rough Stream, 39, 218. 

Ryan Bros., prospectors, 135. 



s. 

Sand-dunes, 101. 

Scenery and structure, 65-67. 

Scheelite, 224. 

Schists, 70. 

Sea-cliff, ancient, 43. 

Seal Island (Brighton), 8, 42. 

Seventeen-mile Beach, 18. 

Shafts, 23. 

Shale, alum, 221. 

Shellback Creek, 19, 195. 

Shetland Terrace, 186. 

Shiel, Richard, prospector, 148, 158. 

Shoots — 

Blind, 176. 

Formation of, 119. 

Pitch of, 118, 119. 
Sidorite, 120, 225. 
Silver, occurrence of, 117. 
Sinkliolos, 44. 

Slab Hut Creek, 18, 52, 183. 
Slaty Creek, 19, 178. 
Sloopor-cutting, 32. 
Sluicing claims — 

Barrytown Plat, 188. 

Baybntt's, 185. 

Dee, 181. 

Devil Crook, 183. 

Duffer Crook, 185. 

Howell's, 182. 

Lyoll Hydraulic, 180. 



232 



Sluicing claims — continued. 

Manuka Flat, 181. 

Merrijigs, 184. 

Minerva, 186. 

New Lyell, 180. 

Old Kent Road, 180. 

Pactolus, 189. 

Redman Creek, 182. 

Republic, 185. 

Roaring Meg, 186. 

Ryan and Alborn's, 181. 

SeweU's, 184. 

Shetland Terrace, 186. 

Soldier Creek, 183. 

Waitahu, 182, 183. 

Waiwhero, 188. 

Wellington, 186. 

Welshman, 180. 

White's. 184. 

Wills', 184. 
Smeaton and party, 192. 
Smelting, attempts at, 26. 
Smith, Adam, pro.spector, 20, 152, 191. 
Smith and party, 191. 
Snowy River, 18, 52. 171. 
Soldier Creek, 14, 18, 19. 
Spathic iron-ore, 225. 
Specimen Hill adit, 136. 
Spessartite, 107. 
Springs, 44, 45. 
Squaretown, 14. 
St. Kilda, 14, 18. 
Stibnite, 117. 
Stones, building, 222. 
Stony River, 39. 
Strand-lines, 43, 46^9. 
Structure, 61-65. 
Suess, E., quoted, 62. 
Sulphides, 117, 224. 
Sulphuretted hydrogen, 24, 44. 
Sunderland, James, prospector, 170. 



T. 

Talus deposits, 101. 

Tarns, 44. 

Tasman, Abel, 5. 

Te Miko cliff, 42, 85. 

Ten-mile Stream, 37, 60. 

Teviot Creek, 18. 

Te Wharau River, 39. 

Thenard, — , quoted, 24. 

Thorium, 224. 

Timber industry, 27, 32, 33. 

Timbering, methods of, 23. 

Tin-stone, 224. 

Tiropahi Stream, 38. 

Topfer, Axel, prospector, 20, 135. 

Torlessia mackayi, reported, 72. 

Totara Flat, 14. 

Transport charges in -1875, 21. 

Treatment of ores, 25, 26, 137. 

Trennery, John. 148. 

Tube mills, 25. 

Tungstic acid, 224. 



u. 

Unconformities, 81, 83, 89-91. 
Underground channels, 45. 
Underground alluvial workings, 181. 
Upper Blackball, 14. 



Ventilation, methods of, 23. 
Victoria horst, 62. 
Victoria Range, 36. 
Villarello, J. D., quoted, 24. 
Volcanic activity, 79. 
Volcanic rocks, 106. 



w. 

Wages, 29. 

Waianiwhaniwha Stream, 37. 

Waipuna Stream, 185. 

Waitahu River, 38, 51. 

Waitakere River, 38, 53. 

Waiuta, 14. 

Walker, Francis, prospector, 132. 

Wall-rocks, 120. 

Walsh, A., 180. 

Walshe, J. G., prospector, 20, 148. 

Wanner, J., quoted, 78. 

Water-power, 16. 

Water -races, 16. 

Watson, Thomas, quoted, 144. 

Wave-formed terraces, 46-49. 

Websterite, 108. 

Wessels, R. H., prospector, 18, 187. 

Welshman Creek, 18, 69. 

Welshman pakihi, 180. 

West Coast, purchase of. 6. 

Westfield, Fred, 20, 144. 

White and McKay, 188, 189. 

WiUis Bros., 179." 

Wills, J., quoted, 169. 

Winding-methods, 24. 

Winds, 3. 

Wise, G. G. P., 2, 158. 

Wolfram, 224. 

Wolf, Robert, 156. 

Woodpecker Bay, 42. 



Y. 

Yields, table of annual gold, 22. 



z. 



Ziman, David, 22, 131, 136, 138, 145, 148, 153, 156, 

172, 173, 224. 
Zircon, 224. 



By Authority : Marcus F. Marks, CTOvernment Printer, Wellington. — 1917. 



[700/6/16— S905 



6947 0734 




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